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Archive for the ‘Passion’ Category

Movie Worthy Moments

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Ever watched a Nicholas Sparks or Nora Ephron movie and thought to yourself, “That would never happen in real life.”?

I’m here to tell you it can and does happen. Once in a blue moon someone with a romantic streak a mile wide really does come along. Someone that doesn’t hesitate taking that first kiss; someone that yells they love you across a public space; someone that sends you daisies because they know the simple romantic flower means so much to you; someone who feels like the most luxurious and softest sweater that was hand knit just to bring you comfort and warmth can actually exist.

I’d looked a long time for that person, then stopped looking altogether. I decided my time had passed and I’d wasted my best years being stupid and a little too wild for my own good. I always knew I wanted someone to look at me across a table like I was the light at the end of their tunnel. I always dreamed of having someone that would open my door, hold my hand as if proud to be by my side, and not hold back on emotions because they were uncomfortable. I always knew I wanted a lifetime partner, a “happily ever after.” I just thought there was time, until time got away from me.

The most interesting part in my case is I’ve had some of those “only in the movies” moments here and there through my life, but they never stuck. The romance, the passion, or the person left before I knew it and I was back to square one.

Here’s the kicker; the crazy part of all this romantic fantasy….not only do I know those moments and feelings exist, but also I can describe the person who can provide them for me down to her toes.

She’s witty, a little snarky. She has a sentimental heart and tough outer shell, like a tootsie pop personified. She is soft, yet strong. She is kind when she can be and takes no shit when she needs to. She is so smart; a mind full of curiosity and eagerness to grow. She is devoted to those she loves and a loyal friend. She goes out of her way to remind people they matter. She is creative and adventurous. She can cook, but also appreciates a good meal prepared for her. She doesn’t expect perfection and even applauds an honest effort. She loves to make love and fill your head with filthy thoughts. She is passion. She is temptation. She is tenderness. She is beauty. The love she gives feels like a luxury reserved for saints and royals. She has a tender touch and a firm hand. She kisses like a dream. One look in her eyes and you’ll know you’re lost and you won’t care a single bit. She can wrap you in her arms and you’ll feel protected from the world; sheltered from the storm. She will keep her promises even when it pains her. She means what she says when she says it. Her laughter causes your own to bubble up. Her smile will melt you into a puddle. Her skin is cream, her lips the color of soft pink petals. She works to make sure her family lacks for nothing. She gives of herself and her time even to her detriment. She is eloquent and professional. She is silly and a dork. She is calm when chaos is around. She is the chaos when her look turns hungry and wanton. She is the prize, the endgame. She is the best way to wake up and my favorite dream. She is worth the wait.

And the credits aren’t rolling yet.

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Is it Karma?

The attached link at the bottom says nearly perfectly what makes sense to me. I believe one of the reasons I feel so stuck is needing to break free from the guilt and feeling of “I deserve this shit” that weighs me down. I created this life and now I have to find a way to make it better, but instead of making it better I keep letting it beat me up because I put so much bad out there in the past a part of me feels it’s justified. And the people in the world around me just reinforce that narrative with their negativity towards me. I’m deemed stupid because I’m overweight. I’m deemed untrustworthy because over a decade ago I broke the law. I’m deemed worthless because, due to previously mentioned law breaking, I don’t have a large income. My entire life I’ve found my desire, my energy, my passion in the connections in my life. Whether it was my daughter, my partner, my job, my friends, my grandma, or even people who only knew me from being out in the gay community. Those pieces of energy each person or opportunity gave to me were life fuel to my chaotic emotions and brain. It gave me direction and drive.

It possibly started before my major screw ups actually. I had a partner that struggled with addiction and mental illness and to my detriment and to the detriment of most of my other connections I allowed her to feed off me until I was left pretty broken emotionally and not real well mentally. That’s when the anxiety started. That’s when I started feeling desperate to find something, anything to tie someone to me, no matter the consequences. I needed to be “refueled.” 15 years later it’s only gotten worse, not better. For a short while I found a stable place to land, but the connection was weak, forced even. Staying would have been a disservice to her, but I left in the worst way possible and added another notch to my chain of negative karma.

And here I am. Stuck. I make lists of things needing to be done and say ok we we will make 2 small changes a day. Unpack a box, take curtains I’ll never use again to goodwill, write a scene, call my best friend and actually hear her voice, write a letter, take a walk, etc.

I step out of my bedroom into my cluttered kitchen, look at my disaster of a livingroom, and immediately feel defeated. It’s bigger than me and I just can’t find it in me to face it alone. My heart rate goes up, my hands tremble and forcing myself to take another step in any direction other that  back to my room brings me to tears. So I go back to my room and take a nap. Again.

I start to write and I think wow this is such a great idea and then the thought passes through me that sending what I write into the world opens me up for verbal beatings and rejection and I’m not scared, I’m petrified. I’m paralyzed to the point that if it feels good enough to make it into a book it will be weeks or months before I pick it up again.

I keep searching for a connection that will make me feel like I have the strength, but theres a disconnect between my self imposed bubble and the one that holds everyone else. Connection has been missing from my life for so long I have slowly lost all the energy I had gotten from being a part of something, a part of so many lives and peer groups, and now I’ve grown afraid to try to reach out because of the constant rejection. It’s so hard to explain to someone who has never been in my head or heart or body; even harder to explain to someone who has never faced real anxiety, depression, or adversity.

I adore my internet followers and friends and I do feed off there happiness and celebrations. I’ve narrowed my connections on my personal pages to people who bring some light into my life. Dropping probably 2/3 of my “friends.” I don’t allow a sense of obligation keep me in touch with negative people.

All this is just starting to click for me sadly, but it gives me a why or a cause. My job now is to turn it around; work to make progress towards positive personal connections and put some good energy out into the world. Find a way to look for beauty and things that make me happy or passionate about life again. Mostly importantly I have to find a way to make small steps in progress without allowing my anxiety send me into flight mode. Nothing is overnight,  but one step at a time. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Being patient with myself is another place I falter and if I’m not going to have a team around me anymore I’ll have to he my own cheerleader. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Monique P

https://www.one-mind-one-energy.com/law-of-cause-and-effect.html

Midlife Crisis?

As a person who has battled depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember; sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between depressive episodes and other negative mood traits. Bad just feels bad. Sometimes, however, feeling bad feels like a weight on your chest. You can pretend it’s not there; hide it from those around you, but all you can think about is finding a way to rid yourself of its suffocating effects.

I thought I was just being perimenopausal. I’m that age. Mood swings, hot flashes, yadda yadda yadda. I felt worn out and blamed that on my inability to sleep when my body can’t seem to decide if it’s hot or cold, or most often on fire followed by freezing. My daughter has moved out of the house. My dearest pets are showing their age. All reasons that can explain away my lack of enthusiasm for getting out of bed each day.

Some days I get a spark of “I can take on the world,” usually followed by posts and blogs about the power of positivity and making big changes and being true to myself. (See previous posts.)

In the last few months I’ve discovered I’m more often finding reasons to not participate in the world outside my door. I’m looking at the future with resignation that my best years are behind me. I think of my age and believe I’ve passed the point where I should have my shit together and even attempting to get there now would be a waste of time. I feel the aches and pains of a 47 year old body and it reminds me that it only gets worse from here.

I’ve been considering making efforts to change my occupation, but then I convince myself no one wants a middle aged woman who is trying to start from the bottom.

I list all the “shoulds”:

I SHOULD own a home.

I SHOULD be married.

I SHOULD have a career I enjoy.

I SHOULD be driving a newer car.

I SHOULD have gotten healthier before it was too late.

I SHOULD have traveled more.

I SHOULD feel settled into my life.

I SHOULD be better at being an adult.

I can go nearly a week without leaving my house, without bathing, without changing clothes, without having a single vegetable, without brushing my hair or my teeth, without cleaning a single dish, without spending more than the time it takes to nuke a frozen burrito out of my bed, or without sleeping or staying awake more than a few hours at a time. I can do all this and KNOW I need to do something different, but lack the ability to walk past my bedroom without crawling right back under the blankets.

I lie to people about things I’m accomplishing or things I’ve been doing in all my spare time. I lie to myself and say, “Tomorrow I’ll start [fill in the blank].” I might even believe it when I think it. My gung-ho attitude lasts until my next nap which isn’t far off.

I keep thinking certainly I won’t go another 30 or more years and it not get better than this, then immediately think the best has already came and gone and I wasted it on stupid youthful pursuits and bad decisions.

One moment I think I should just cut ties with my partner, who will leave eventually anyway, and move on to whatever comes next. The next moment I think I’ve dedicated a decade of my life to this person and why would I invest 10 years in someone I love only to wash my hands of her.

There are moments I believe she knows me better than anyone shortly followed by moments where I truly believe she doesn’t even see me.

There are moments of gratitude for the genuine friends I have made in my life and many more moments where I feel completely alone.

There seems to be a change on the horizon, but will it pass by during one of the five naps I take in a day?

Will this pass or am I as stuck as I feel? Is this normal? Is normal actually a thing?

My track record of poor choices isn’t exactly inspirational when it comes to convincing myself to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make things happen. So, for now, I’m going to stay under the blankets with my books and my furbabies and hope this is a phase and, like the cold weather outside, will pass without my intervention.

I just don’t have it in me to do more than survive it right now. I’m choosing to believe surviving it is enough for today.

 

 

Zen or Defeat

There’s an expression I’ve hated for a long time; “It is what it is.” It always felt like someone saying, “Just accept what is happening in your life and deal with the fact that you can’t change it.”

By nature I’m a fighter; or at least I used to be. I believed life is what you make of it, we’re the creators of our own destinies, if you want something bad enough you make it happen, and all those other trite sayings people such as Les Brown and Tony Robbins and the like spent decades putting into our heads. “Envision it and it will happen!” Hook, line, and sinker….I bought in.

Maybe I’m selfish? Maybe I’ve become jaded? Maybe I’ve accepted that those in power stay in power and those that aren’t in power get what they are given and make the best of it? Maybe I’ve just given up? Maybe, just maybe, I realized it truly IS what it is, and you can spend your energy pushing against the brick wall or you can enjoy the little bits of happiness you find creeping in through the cracks.

It’s funny how my other half has come to this conclusion of “it is what it is” and giving up the fight to change things has helped her find a little bit of Zen in her world that is usually full of worry and stress when, for me, giving into that notion feels like defeat. Realizing it is what it is, for me, means setting down my gloves and just bracing myself for the blow that comes next at my head.

Weirdly I use my feeling of defeat to find some happiness. I look harder for it. It used to be easy to find. Cuddles from my furbabies, a four-leaf clover in my path, a wild daisy growing among the weeds, a flock of birds rising across a pink and orange sky at dusk, a thoughtful gesture from a friend, a text message that my honey is thinking of me; these things used to be fuel to my “go grab life by the balls and make it your bitch!” attitude; now they are reasons to get up and keep going through a life that is nothing I had hoped it would be.

For awhile I just kind of folded in. I dragged one day to another and hoped it would go by quickly. In realizing that I likely have decades of this life left ahead of me I had to shake myself up a little, remind myself that there are things to look forward to even if they aren’t the big things I’d hoped for.

I love my partner and while, on one hand, I am so glad to see her find some reasons to smile finally and something to motivate her towards a more fulfilling life, on the other hand, it hurts that her vision of what that means doesn’t include me. I’m apparently that thing that she can not accept as “Is what it is.” Her Zen, her place of acceptance, feels like another defeat for me. (Even though rationally I know it has NOTHING to do with me.)

I am a whole imperfect package with lots of good intentions. I am what I am. It’s interesting to me that I was proud to say that until the last 12 years of my life. It used to be, “I am ME!” Now it’s more of a whisper, “This is just who I am.” I no longer want to fight for the right to be myself, but just be myself a little more quietly so I don’t have to defend it.

I want to feel Zen in acceptance of it is what it is. I say it more now. I’ve noticed that for a few years. Sometimes I catch myself backtracking after I say it, then I think, “What’s the point? It’s true.”

My goal for this year is to just be me more of the time. I need to be “I am ME!” again eventually and stopping whispering and hoping no one notices that I’m different or think outside of the proverbial box. I want to stop feeling defeated by what is. I want to teach myself to stand out again. I want to live for more than 3 furbabies that realistically will be gone within this decade. I want to punch my g/f and make her realize that her life is better shared with someone who pushes her out of her comfort zone, but A. I’m not abusive and B. That’s not the reality she subscribes to. I do hope her Zen starts rubbing off on me however.

My decades of brain-washing that taught me to “MAKE IT HAPPEN” led to a lot of disappointment when it didn’t happen. Now, this decade, I’m retraining myself. I’m going to find a way to live with less expectation and more anticipation. Let’s see what happens next and with some luck, whatever it is, I can say “It is what it is” without feeling like I lost the big game. *Fingers crossed*

Here I come 2020s!

 

 

Holding Back

Knowing yourself deeply is both a blessing and a curse.

I allow myself to read as much as I can and because of this I live much of life between pages, but this is the only indulgence I can allow.

If I were to allow myself to drink or do drugs, I’d be an addict. If I were to allow myself to take down the walls of my sadistic side, I’d scare myself and my partner. If I allowed myself to indulge my emotions, I’d laugh like a wild person and I’d cry until I dried up. If I loved to the fullest extent of my heart it would smother the ones I adore. If I spoke without sensor my thoughts would shock both liberal and conservative, judgemental and accepting.

I often feel like I’m an addict without an addiction, but only because I don’t relax. I keep a tight control wherever I’m able.

There’s a strong urge and desire to overindulge in life; to bite into existence until I draw blood. It overflows in a way I can’t explain and in moments I think the dam may burst I jump into a book; into a different existence, until I’m in control again. I do this for myself and for others.

I have always overwhelmed people. I’ve been labeled as “too much” and “too (insert adjective)” most of my life.

Truly; they have no idea.

What you see is a pond. What you don’t see is the width and depth of an ocean.

Be glad I hold back the tidal wave. Be glad I don’t relax and “just be.” The tsunami of me would leave you shocked, blinded, beaten, and breathless.

Author Spotlight: Amy L. Gale

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

AMY L. GALE

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HOT ROCK STAR ROMANCE

How would you fair out dating a Rock Star?

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Ambitious 22-year-old Lexie Waters is intent on taking the advertising world by storm. When she’s offered the soon to be open position she’s been vying for at a swanky advertising agency, there’s only one last summer separating her from dreams of corporate success. Still bitter from catching her boyfriend cheating, she heads out for a night of fun to see her favorite band, Devil’s Garden, but fun turns into utter embarrassment when she insults the enticingly confident lead singer, Van Sinclair. Van is intrigued by Lexie’s ability to resist his charm and secretly obtains her cell number. Shocked but eager to get to know this captivating rocker, Lexie accepts Van’s invitation to see his next show, which requires an overnight stay. The overwhelming feelings that follow take them both by surprise, and with two months left before starting her sought after new position, Lexie joins the tour. As she’s catapulted into the world of groupies and wild parties, she questions Van’s commitment to her. So what happens at summer’s end when time runs out?

Amazon http://amzn.to/2nAGl9I

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blissful-tragedy-amy-l-gale/1118598512?ean=2940148116790

Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blissful-tragedy/id826054128?mt=11

BLISSFUL TRAGEDY AUDIOBOOK

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Blissful-Tragedy-Audiobook/B00V9LU1W6/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1428016192&sr=1-1

Blissful Disaster

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One night stands.

Career-driven Ali Whitman, never dreamed of having one, until she finds herself waking up next to a handsome tattooed man she knows nothing about. After celebrating her promotion to field reporter at Entertainment Rocks! magazine, she breaks her number one rule – to focus on work without the distraction of the opposite sex.

Rules.

Tyler Young lives by his own set. As bassist for Devil’s Garden, he exudes sexual energy and lives for the moment; no strings attached, no regrets, and no looking back.

When the two are brought face to face during an interview it goes sour, sparking a string of disasters. As their feelings for each other grow, they find themselves living by a new set of rules, but demons from the past haunt their new found love. Is it possible to crawl from the ashes of the aftermath or will it all go down in flames?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oVX7kJ

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/709439

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blissful-disaster/id1213006702?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/blissful-disaster-amy-l-gale/1126013983?ean=2940157595142

🏈Christmas Blitz🏈

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Small town real estate agent Holly Clifford is counting the seconds until she pays off the debt incurred from caring for her sick mother and can move out of Hilldale Vermont forever. After forfeiting her college scholarship to law school to be at her mother’s side, she obtained her real estate license and took a position at Trust Reality. Nick Shaw is on the path to victory. As a high school football hero turned rookie star wide receiver of the newest NFL team, the Iowa Talons, success is all he knows. But sometimes there’s things fame and money can’t buy. When Nick returns to Hilldale, he puts an offer on a lakeside mansion up for sale by Trust Reality and turns Holly’s life upside down. Can she stay on track and resist Nick’s charm or will she be blitzed by Hilldale’s football hero this Christmas?

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2oW1Wul

💖✫BLISSFUL VALENTINE: A NOVELLA✫💖

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Straight-laced 19-year-old Brooke Powers has two goals: First, avoid the party scene and all the drama and disaster that go along with it. Second, focus on attaining her Marketing and Business degrees. When her roommate begs her to attend a fraternity party she reluctantly obliges, but gets more than she bargained for when she meets enticingly charismatic fraternity brother, Dean Parker. After a mishap causes her to wake up in the worst possible place she can imagine, she vows to stay away from anything or anyone fraternity related. Staying away from Dean is a daily battle, one she’s slowly losing. When her feelings conjure up old demons from the past, her strategically planned future turns into chaos. Brooke is desperate to keep herself on track. Will Dean be her downfall or is he exactly what she needs?

Valentine’s Day isn’t always complete bliss.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oVTUBP

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes. She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach. She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever.

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Amy-L-Gale-540928695977160/

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/amyg618

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amzie13793/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7770893.Amy_L_Gale

Wanna spread the word for Blissful Tragedy, Blissful Valentine and other works of Amy L. Gale?

Sign up for my street team and join the Gale Groupies. Get your backstage pass here http://www.authoramygale.com/the-gale-groupies.html

New Release: Stark Me by Lily Ryan

Happy New Release To Lily Ryan!

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Every good girl needs a bad boy to set her free!

To anyone on the outside, I had a picturesque life, like a scene on the inside of a snow globe.
I didn’t realize how I longed to be set free, until a set of blue eyes looking in, shook things up and shattered the glass around me.

It’s been five long years since I’ve seen Dylan Stark. The man who owns my heart. Five years since we last spoke. Touched. Kissed. Because, Dylan confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.

Everything changed since he’s been gone. There are things I need to explain. Secrets I’ve been keeping.

Now Dylan is back, and he’s dangerous as ever, because he still owns my heart. He shakes up my world and makes me want to confront the truth.

I don’t know if he can forgive me, so I’m not sure if this is our story’s end, or if we are at the start of a new beginning…

Stark Me is a second chance romance between a bad boy gone good, and a good girl gone bad.

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 Excerpt

“What the fuck happened?”

Sirens blare. My head hurts. No, it doesn’t hurt, it feels like it’s bursting at the seams. It’s about to blow into a million tiny pieces any second now.

I blink my eyes a few times to clear my blurred vision. Two sets of worried blue eyes stare back at me.

“Thank the fucking Lord,” Shea Sullivan says, gathering me into his arms. I want to push him away, because this only makes the sharp pain in my head worse, but I can’t.

It’s the other pair of eyes I can’t pull my stare from. The blue eyes with a storm, more savage than the tornado that tore Dorothy from Kansas, brewing in them. The deep blue eyes that narrow on me with anger and suspicion. The blue eyes that I long to see a hint of compassion in, even if it’s only for a moment. The eyes of bad boy Dylan Stark.

“What the fuck happened?” Dylan repeats, anger heavy in his voice.

His words hit me like a slap in the face. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I look around, and that’s when I see it. Blood. All over me. Smeared on my shirt. Covering my hands. A scarlet-streaked knife beside me.

Panic settles into my brain, clawing its way into my soul.

“Jimmy,” I whisper. “Where is Jimmy?”

No answers are given before the police storm the front door, guns drawn, arms extended ready to shoot.

“Hands where I can see them,” a voice booms.

We do as we’re told, and I notice that I’m the only one with blood on me.

My eyes are glued to Dylan, because whatever went down here, it’s going to affect him most of all.

“Where is Jimmy?” I demand.

Dylan doesn’t answer. He just stares at me, jaw clenched, a cold, hard look in his eyes, as he’s read his rights and a pair of handcuffs is slapped tight on his wrists. He’s angry, unresponsive, as they shove him out the door.

“Are you hurt?” An unfamiliar voice directs the question at me.

“Yes.” I touch my chest instinctively, but all seems fine. No cuts. No stab wounds. “No.” I’m confused. I look back down at my hands. If I’m not hurt, where did all this blood come from? “I mean, I don’t really know. My head is a wreck.” A new set of eyes evaluates me with scrutiny.

Shea’s taken outside, but unlike Dylan, he goes of his own free will, without the aide of cuffs or anyone pushing him forward. The officer watching me presses a button on the communication device attached to his shirt collar and speaks. I don’t know what he’s saying; it’s all jumbled, and my mind is on Dylan.

A team of two men come in. A penlight is flashed in my eyes, and sharp pain sears through my head.

“Fuck!” I say, screwing my eyes up tight and holding my head between my hands. “That hurts.”

After a brief examination of my body, one of the men asks if I can walk.

“Sure,” I answer, getting to my feet.

As soon as I’m halfway up, a wave of dizziness and nausea sweeps over me. I extend my hands to break my fall, because I’m going down and the floor is coming at me at warp speed.

The men are talking. I don’t know if it’s to me or to each other. Sound has left me. Sight, too. Darkness creeps in from the corner of my eyes and spreads inward until I can’t see anything but the comfort of nothingness it offers.

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Purchase links- Stark Me will be on sale for 99 cents through the weekend.  

Amazon https://bitly.im/oYMwQ

iTunes https://bitly.im/tZV3I

B&N https://bitly.im/6Qdyj

Kobo https://bitly.im/MtPc9

Where To Stalk Lily Ryan:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lilyryansreads/

Twitter https://twitter.com/LilyRyanAuthor

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lilyryanauthor/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16225133.Lily_Ryan

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/42ab7c271/

 

Cover Reveal: A Handful of Fire by Alexis Alvarez

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I am in LOVE with this cover of A Handful of Fire by Alexis Alvarez!

PREORDER NOW!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ob1tIa

Release Date: April 11th
Cover Designer: Okay Creations
ADD TO YOUR TBR: http://bit.ly/2mPPn72

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A taboo relationship…steamy passion…and secrets that can ruin everything.

Single father Gabriel Baystock is rich and powerful, educated and handsome – and helpless when it comes to ensuring his son Michael recovers fully from a childhood cancer. He’ll do anything, even hire award-winning child therapist Shai Bonaventura.

Shai is drawn to brooding, sexy Gabriel, and while she falls in love with the little boy she’s hired to help, she loses her heart to his father. Their powerful chemistry is off the charts hot, and Shai thinks he might be the one to help heal her own demons, even if it means crossing professional boundaries.

But when old secrets from Shai’s past are revealed, it’s not clear if their fragile relationship can survive the harsh reality of the real world…or whether they have the courage to fight for what they really need?

A Handful of Fire is a full-length stand-alone romance (about 80K words) with an HEA. It’s a contemporary love story with a high heat level and gorgeous, poetic prose.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Alexis Alvarez writer erotic fiction. Her books feature strong, intelligent sassy heroines who may enjoy being submissive in the bedroom, but are never doormats or pushovers.

You can find more about her work on her website www.graffitifiction.com, where she and her two real-life sisters – who are also romance writers – blog about their books.

In addition to being a romance author, Alexis is also a photographer and digital designer. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and making really inappropriate jokes.

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AUTHOR LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bjS9vm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexisAlvarezAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14127116.Alexis_Alvarez
Website: http://graffitifiction.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexisAlvarezWr

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Coming Soon: Smuttily Ever After

Title: Smuttily Ever After

Release Date: November 29th

When smut happens, it’s always a happily ever after.

Seven bloggers have come together to create a hot anthology filled with the best variety of sexy stories.

All proceeds go to Paws With A Cause, a charity which trains and provides service dogs to people who can greatly benefit from assistance and companionship.

Cover By: Mila Grayson

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32795327-smuttily-ever-after

Charity: Paws with a Cause – https://www.pawswithacause.org

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The Stories:

Calculated

The Messy Mind of Monique Pearson

A successful CEO finds her new PA has more to offer than his typing skills. In the office she’s used to being in control, but he has other plans in mind.

Rolling On A River

The Saucy Owl

One all-girl roller hockey team against the boys, in an all-day tournament of hockey and will power. It gets hotter than a girdle after a game when Frankie sees Taylor Rivers roll on by.

Love and War

Beauté De Livres – Beauty of Books

Having a future was never in our plans. We were at war when we found each other. But when the demons of your past crash into your present, will love be enough?

Falling Into You

Mila Grayson | KU Book Reviews

Think you can only find used furniture on Craigslist? You can also find second chances. Don’t let that chance encounter escape you.

Unexpected

Obsessed with Romance

When a single mother of twins joins her best friends for “a girls night out” she expects some drinks, laughs and dancing. But someone has other plans for her.

Wildest Dreams

Kay Su | BooksandMe

Three isn’t always a crowd. But trying to find two hot, dominating men happy to share the same girl isn’t ever going to be easy. Will dreams become reality? What are the odds?

Love For Us

Books And Boys Book Blog

Finding love on the internet is always a risky business. Full of catfish and unsolicited pics. But what happens when you find a connection faster and stronger than your wifi?

Contributing Blogger Links:

Mila | KU Book Reviews

https://kubookreviews.com

Kay Su | BooksandMe

http://iamkayiee.blogspot.com.au

Beauté De Livres – Beauty of Books

https://beautedelivres.com

The Messy Mind of Monique Pearson

https://mindofmoniquepearson.com

The Saucy Owl – Reviewing the Raunch

http://thesaucyowl.wixsite.com/thesaucyowl

Obsessed with Romance

http://www.obsessedwithromance.com

Books and Boys Book Blog

http://booksnboysbookblog.blogspot.com.au

Going After Your Dreams

Chase Your Dreams!

When I was about 10 I fell in love with reading. I started out like most kids with Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. Seriously, who didn’t love Ramona Quimby or Superfudge? I was going through these books so fast that I was quickly running out of “appropriate” things to read. By age 12 I was reading Sweet Valley High romances and started writing my own version of those when I couldn’t get my hands on new ones in the series. By 13 I’d discovered my mother’s secret stash of historical romances.
Like many latchkey kids, I was bored and nosy. I found a shelf in my mother’s closet that contained rows and rows of these thick books featuring women in amazing gowns and men with lots of muscles and long gorgeous hair. The titles were even exotic. Savage Thunder, Defy Not The Heart, and The Fires of Winter.  Certainly not the kinds of titles you’d find on a teen romance. I would occasionally flip through them but was daunted by their length. One day I discovered one of the books not only had a character with my name, but it was about a third smaller than all the others. That was enough for me to give it a chance.
I opened the book, right there in the closet, and began reading. 4 hours later when my mother came home I was still sitting in the closet and was almost finished with the book. That was it. I was hooked. The sex didn’t concern me. It wasn’t actually graphic, just passionate. I’d seen much worse on cable TV. My mother wasn’t mad, except for the fact my chores hadn’t gotten done and I was sitting in her closet (which actually confused her more than anything I think).
I started going through my mother’s collection of romances one by one for the next 3 years. What hooked me was the unlikely pairings, the “I’d die for you” devotion, and the fact that no matter what they faced somehow they came together in the end to be together.

Happily Ever After.

Who doesn’t want that?
I’ve heard parents blame a young girl’s unrealistic expectations of love and romance on Disney and their multiple princes who always save the day for their true love. Disney had nothing to do with creating the hopeless romantic in me. It was Penelope Neri, Johanna Lindsay, and Julie Garwood. Even though these stories were set mostly in other countries and all in another time I came to love escaping into the lives of the heroines who tested the boundaries of society, pushed the limits of ladylike behavior, and always found their happy ending in the arms of true love. From Indian maidens to viking princesses to duchesses of grand estates, they all had one thing in common; a happy ending.
Early on I started imagining how I wanted the book to end before I ever got to the ending. Sometimes I was right in line with the author, sometimes their ending was much more intricate than I could have imagined, and sometimes I really believed my ending would have made the book better. I was feeding my imagination and building stories in my head before I was even fully aware of what love and romance were all about.
I didn’t have a traditional English or Grammar teacher. Mrs. Cook was more concerned with teaching mythology, Shakespeare, and all the manias and phobias. I still don’t know how to diagram a sentence and I couldn’t tell you what a split infinitive is, but I can tell you how the Goddess, Athena, was born and draw you a pretty accurate depiction of an Elizabethan theater. The rules for commas are lost to me, just ask my friend the editor, and my ability to stay in the same tense comes and goes.
Then came my Junior year of high school with American Literature followed by a Senior year with World Literature. From Dante’s Inferno to Pride and Prejudice to The Raven to Canterbury Tales. I LOVED IT ALL. In college I read W.E.B. DuBois, Flannery O’Connor, Sylvia Plath, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This list goes on and on and there were so few that didn’t fascinate me.
I took every writing class I could get into and found that after years of reading my imagination was endless. My technique definitely not comparable to the greats, but I was a bottomless well of ideas. I could pick and emotion and write a story that would make my teacher feel it. I could pick a life and convince the reader I’d lived it.

I’d found my passion.

Many people go through life never finding what it is they are passionate about. I KNEW I wanted to be a writer. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was meant to write. I had no idea what I wanted to write but I knew I had to tell stories.
Like most people life went on and I got busy just making a living and my dream was put on the back burner, ignored, and almost forgotten. I was still reading anytime I could, but I’d stopped writing.

The Book That Changed Everything

In 2011 a phenomenon happened when a previously unpublished writer self-published and self-promoted a trilogy of romances set in a fictional world of billionaires and BDSM. It took off like no other adult book I’ve ever seen. The sex scenes made those historical romances seem innocent. The main character of Christian Grey was suddenly creating a frenzy of women who coined the term “Book Boyfriend.” He was sexy, rich, mysterious, a little dangerous, and would do anything to keep his woman. Without the half naked people on the covers moms everywhere were able to put these books in their purse without fear of being caught with their smutty, romantic reads. Finally giving into the trend I read the trilogy, in less than a week, and then craved more. I quickly found authors with similar works featuring alpha men and luxurious lifestyles where possibilities were endless and creative sexuality was encouraged. All that had been “taboo” was no longer. I fell in love with other authors like Julie Kenner, Maya Banks, and Tara Sue Me.
Now a woman in my late 30s and early 40s my imagination was sparked in new ways and I began to write again. Short stories. Snippets of scenes. Nothing extensive. Thanks to social media I was able to follow and actually interact with authors I was reading. One of the best days of my life was when Julie Kenner sent me a friend request on Facebook then just a few months later another author idol of mine, Lauren Blakely, saw a post I’d written mentioning her and she also sent me a friend request. These are women selling millions of books to millions of fans and I can now interact with them directly. I found indie authors of every sub-genre of romance and through social media interaction started actually building friendships and have extensive conversations with these women. Through these authors I’ve discovered other authors who I not only like as people but love as authors. My book collection, both paperback and e-book, is massive. I’ve become engrossed in the world of romance and writers.

BUT…

The more I read the more I doubt I have any place among these amazing writers. Some offer to read what I’ve written and many encourage me to just write until I get more comfortable with my skill level and improve naturally with time and practice. Fear has a way of making a person immobile. Fear of not being good enough and of being a small fish lost in a giant ocean kept me from even trying. I kept making excuses to keep my dream just that, a dream.
I started this blog to give me an outlet to write whatever I wanted without fear of success or failure. It’s for me. It’s nice that others have read it and enjoyed it when I’ve written, but that wasn’t the point. I would never have guessed that this one thing I did just for me would lead to all the crazy things happening just over the last several months.
First, I received and email from and unknown sender. I actually opened it simply because of the subject. Smut For Charity. Wouldn’t you open it?  It was an offer for previously unpublished bloggers of romance to submit their own short story for publication in an anthology. I read that email probably 10 times and kept finding excuses not to reply. I didn’t have time, I didn’t have the energy, I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have any fresh ideas, etc, etc. Then my daughter came to visit me. After listening to all the “practical” reasons she was putting aside her dream of art school and seeing her enthusiasm for art dwindling because she believes that her dreams are always going to be out of reach I was heartbroken for her. A parent never wants to see their child settle for less than their greatest potential no matter how impractical or impossible it might seem. But here I was doing the same thing I didn’t want her to do. I had all kinds of excuses for why I couldn’t be the writer I always dreamed of being.
So I answered the email. I kept putting off writing my story because I didn’t think it would come out as well as the ideas that were forming in my head. Finally I made a promise to one of the ladies putting together the anthology of a day I would submit my story by. Someone was counting on me to follow through. I wrote my story in less than two days and sent it in.  There’s things I’d change now if I could since I’ve reread it probably 100 times but it’s my first time and you learn as you go. The people who have read my story have given me a lot of great feedback. So much that I decided that this year I would face another fear and take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, which is November, and meeting a goal of 50,000 words written. I’m not at my goal yet, but I’m well on my way. In the meantime the anthology is being put together as I write this and is due to release on November 29th. My story is not only the first one in the book, but also an excerpt from the book I’m writing for NaNoWriMo will be in the back of the book. We have several prominent authors supporting us and promoting the anthology. Even Ms. Julie Kenner has offered to promote the release, among other super supportive author friends I’ve made.
As an unpublished writer I’m learning the cost of things like editors and formatters and cover art. I have an amazing author friend who offered to edit my first work for me when I’m ready, which is a HUGE chunk of the cost, and so many ready to support and share my solo book when it comes out and my short story isn’t even out yet. I’m facing these fears reluctantly but every step of the way I keep reminding myself that I want to show my daughter that if you want it you have to go for it. You can’t give up before you’ve even tried. You can’t make excuses and expect any results. I’ve already invested in cover art for two books and have the support and push from those who won’t let me turn back.

Every day I write a little. Some days I write a lot. What matters is at the end of the day, before you close your eyes, ask yourself this question; what did I do today to get one step closer to making my dreams a reality? It doesn’t matter how small it is, do something, EVERY SINGLE DAY and don’t settle until you’ve exhausted every possibility. You can’t be the best if you don’t try. You can’t grab the trophy if you don’t show up.

Reading romances taught me if you want it bad enough you make it happen. Never give up hope until you find your Happily Ever After.

Monique P.

chances

ub

 

 

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