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My 2015 Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again! Each year I try to make a few new goals on January 1. I never make mine too complicated and that’s helped me stick to them for the last few years. Here’s my simple goals for the year ahead:

2015

1. Get Healthy!

Now this one sounds really general but I broke it down into three steps that should make it a cinch:

a. Move More!

Runner

I became a full-time writer this year (I couldn’t have done this without you guys!! Thank you so much 🙂 ). My day job was mostly computer based but I was still walking at least 4-5 miles/day. Yeah, not so much anymore. I was exercising regularly for the first month but then I just got really lazy and stopped. I’m barely getting in 1000 steps some days now! I got a FitBit last year for Christmas and looking at my Dashboard, I can really see where my fitness fell off. But I’m turning that around in 2015! I want to build back  up to the recommended 10,000 steps/day. To get my step count up, I’m going to start doing Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds DVD again. I’ve this DVD for almost ten years and I love it. Its a simple workout that’s customizable. You pick how many miles you want to do each day and Leslie is such a great instructor. If you’re new to working out or are looking for a quick way to get more exercise each day, any of the Walk Away the Pounds series is a great way to start.

b. Drink More Water!

WaterCup

I’m really bad at this one when I forget about it. I don’t drink pop or energy drinks or any of the other sugary beverages. I have one cup of tea or coffee in the morning and then its water for the rest of the day. My problem is that I forget to drink even if I have a bottle right next to me. Bad I know! To remedy this in 2015, I’m going to start tracking how much water I drink each day. I keep a piece of paper with my weekly meal plan on my fridge door and under each day, I’m going to put a tally down for each bottle of water I drink. My goal is 2-3L each day.

c. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables!

Fruits

I already cook most of our food myself since I’m home but during the winter I really slack on fruits and vegetables. In the summer, there are so many yummy fruits to choose from that I don’t have any problem eating 2 or 3 pieces a day. In the winter, there’s not much to choose from besides apples. I’m going to try to eat one piece of fruit every day. Even if its one lousy apple every day for all of the winter, it’s still better than eating no fruit at all!

2. Read More!

2015 GR

I used to read two or three books a week when I was in high school. Once I hit college, my reading really fell off. I just didn’t have the time anymore. I do still read but it’s only six books a year if I’m lucky. This year I want to challenge myself to read much more than I’ve been doing these last few years. To that end, I’ve started the 2015 Goodreads Challenge. I’m going to read 52 books in 2015! That’s one a week which seems daunting right now but I’ve got five books lined up for January already.

3. Write 500,000 Words!

Writetop

I got so close to this one in 2014. In eleven months, I was able to write 452,000 words. This year I’ll have an extra month of writing though. I write five days a week and I’m trying to stick to that schedule this year. Last year, I would end up writing on the weekends and I’m trying to stop that completely. It’s a big goal but by putting it on my official 2015 goal list I’m sure I can do it.

 

That’s it! I’ll keep you guys updated each month with how I’m faring. Do you guys have any goals for the new year? I’d love to hear about them!

Excerpt: Lost Tribe: Exile

Exile

Here’s the cover and a peek at part of the first chapter of The Lost Tribe: Exile. This is the first book in the series set in the same universe as the Witch and the Wolf. As always, please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes.

“This is all you’re fault Lena!” Sophia screamed hurling a bolt of lightening at her younger sister. “You think because you’re a princess you’re better than me. Newsflash little sister, I’m going to be queen not you!”
Lena dodged the lightening bolt easily but the heavy curtains behind her caught fire. Lena quickly put them out before the flame ruined too much. She picked up the red curtains and shook her head. “You need to control you’re temper sister. A queen should have control of her emotions at all times.”
Rage distorted Sophia’s beautiful features. “Are you going to help your queen or not?”
“The queen is dead and no one has been crowned yet.”
“I am the queen!” Sophia shot off another lightening bolt.
Lena raised her hand and absorbed the attack. “You aren’t even a member of the royal family. You can’t be queen.”
“You don’t even want to rule! You’ve said it yourself a million times.” Sophia circled Lena. Her hair was pulled up in a tight mass of curls and she wore a long formal ballgown. She looked much more the part of royal than Lena in her simple day gown. Sophia always dressed for the role she wanted. That should have been Lena’s mother’s first clue. Prescott, their father, had warned Queen Marie that Sophia was dangerous.
Lena’s mother had a soft heart and had loved Sophia as her own the moment she laid eyes on her. Lena suspected that she would never have been born if Marie hadn’t seen what beautiful children Prescott could produce. Sophia’s mother had died during birth and the queen had taken in the baby. While Sophia didn’t have a title, she was as much a part of the royal family as Lena was. That was the mistake. Sophia was raised as a princess without the ability to ever be queen. Thanks to her mother’s kindness, the entire clan was in danger.
“I can’t help you Sophia.” Lena shook her head. “Nobody can help you anymore. You and your people need to turn yourselves in to the Council. There’s still hope for leniency.”
“As if I would ever lower myself to grovel to those fools.” Sophia stopped circling. “You know you won’t be spared this punishment. They mean to send away the entire clan dear sister.”
“No they won’t,” Lena said confidently. “They will punish you and the people who committed these awful crimes. The rest of us will be fine. I told you not to play with fire sister.”
Sophia laughed. “You are so naïve! The only people who will be spared are the three who have turned on us. Father didn’t make you part of his deal. He’s leaving you to rot with the rest of us.”
Lena left the room. Sophia’s laughter followed her. Lena went out to the grounds. She waved her hand at the footmen who tried to follow her. She wanted to send a message to their father in private.
“Come find me when he breaks your stupid little heart!” Sophia was standing on the balcony still laughing. Lena looked over her shoulder and pushed her sister back into the house. She slammed and locked the balcony door behind Sophia. She was lying. Their father would never abandon his people or Lena. Sophia was trying to goad Lena into helping her again. She was already hiding her from the Council and the lynch mobs. What more could Lena do? It was Sophia and her hate that had caused all the problems and now she would have to pay.
Lena walked into the hedge maze to get some privacy. She turned a few corners before crouching in the grass. She reached out to her father trying to find him in the world. Usually, he kept an enchanted mirror to speak with her and Sophia. That had stopped once the Council started looking for Sophia and putting together what was really going on. Lena thought it was to protect them. If anyone found the mirror, they would be able to find the girls in a matter of seconds.
Divining in the grass, she couldn’t locate Prescott. She frowned and tried again. There was a small map of the world burned in the grass but no flame was appearing to show his location. She cast twice more before giving up. He didn’t want to be found. He had to be using very strong magic to block himself. Sophia was telling the truth. There was no reason for Prescott to hide from Lena. She had done nothing wrong and those who followed her would surely follow Prescott once Sophia was gone. He could finally be King of the Northlands Fae.
Lena trembled in the grass. If anything was going to happen it would be at sunset. The Council had given Sophia and her people until the end of the day to surrender themselves. Lena got up and ran back to the house.
“Sophia! You need to turn yourself in!” She ran from room to room. Sophia was lounging in the queen’s old room. She was flipping through patterns.
“I will do no such thing. The punishment will be the same no matter what I do. I want them to know that I am not sorry for what I did. I would do it again. I will do worse next time!”
Lena kneeled next to the chaise. “If you don’t go, they will punish us all.”
Sophia looked at her sister and smiled. “Will you help me now?”
“I will not! I can not!”
“Then you deserve to be punished too. All that power and you’re going to bend to the will of those less powerful? Why does it matter so much to you?”
“I don’t care what they think. I care what I think Sophia. I couldn’t look at myself if I did what you ask.”
“You won’t be able to look at yourself when they get done with us.” Sophia held up the book and pointed to a purple gown. “I like this one. I think it would look great with my coloring. You could get one in green and we could be matching like when we were girls!”
Lena looked outside. It would be anytime now. “If you love me at all, you wouldn’t do this to me. To our people.”
She put her hand on Lena’s cheek. “You’re willing to forsake me for the other supernaturals and humans. I should kill you where you stand dear Lena.”
Lena stood up. “I should kill you where you sit. I’m sure the Council will be just as happy to take a dead body as a live one.”
Sophia raised an eyebrow. “Are you finally getting a backbone little sister?”
“I can’t let our people all be punished for what you did.” Lena raised her chin. She couldn’t kill her sister but she could knock her out. The guards could drag her to the Council. It would be over quickly.
The air in the room was tense as the two sisters looked at one another. Sophia stood up slowly and brushed off her dress. “I don’t want to kill you Lena but I will hurt you very badly.”
“You can try.” Lena didn’t even raise her hand. Boulders fell from the ceiling. They crashed onto Sophia’s head and split without harming her. The pieces fell onto the chaise and broke it along with a footstool.
“I liked that chaise.” Sophia said angrily. Lena flew backwards and out the window with a crash. She landed on her feet in the lawn. The guards watched with interest as Sophia flew out to the lawn and set the grass around Lena on fire.
The head of the home guard came forward to help Lena. She pushed him back. “Stay out of this Gavin!”
He was a good guard but he couldn’t stand up to Sophia. She really did mean to hurt Lena. Sophia let her glamour fall and her beautiful face was replaced by mottled grey skin with deep black cracks running through it. Her shiny brown hair was replaced by long, stringy white strands. The true face of the Northlands Fae. Lena let her own glamour drop. She wasn’t quite was ugly as her sister but then she wasn’t quite as powerful either.
She had to rely on her speed and cunning to best Sophia. They had been play fighting since they were children. Sophia had never hit Lena with the full force of her power but Lena had a good idea of what her sister was capable of as lightening rained down from the sky and hail the size of small horses hurtled toward her. She used quick teleports to dodge the hail but she couldn’t attack back. The minute she would get to a safe spot the grass and dirt reached up to hold her down.
Lena was teleporting and floating as she zipped to each spot.
“Getting tired yet sister?” Sophia asked as she floated. Lena needed to get her sister on the ground. She pushed wind at Sophia to try to force her down but her sister didn’t move more than an inch. Lena absorbed some of the lightening and shot it back at Sophia. The heat burned off a chunk of her white hair. “Good. This was starting to get boring it was so easy.”
The ground rumbled under their feet. The sisters looked at each other. Sophia’s eyes turned red in a rage. It felt like someone had stabbed Lena in the stomach and was ripping her organs out through the hole. It was like her body was trying to turn itself inside out. She was faintly aware of the guards screaming and writing on the ground. She thought she was screaming too but she couldn’t be sure. Blood was pouring from Sophia’s eyes as she too began to scream.
Whatever they were doing, it was working. Lena would have ripped Sophia’s heart out if she had the energy to move. The fires had stopped when Sophia lost her control on her magic. Lena was glad her mother wasn’t alive to see what had become of their country home. The maze was partially burned and the topiary figures were all ruined. They wouldn’t be able to play croquet on the lawn this season. Such a waste.
The longer the pain went on the more Lena started to understand why Sophia had wanted them all dead. They were willing to do this to Lena and her followers even though they were totally innocent. She didn’t understand why her father had let this happen. Why hadn’t he taken Lena with him at least? She curled up on the ground as the pain intensified. The pain was so great it felt like she was floating or maybe she had just detached from her body. Lena opened her eyes a millimeter and the ground around her was shimmering.

Exile will release at the end of the week. To get an email alert when it comes out, sign-up to my new release mailing list!

Posted in The Lost Tribe | Comments Off on Excerpt: Lost Tribe: Exile

Excerpt: The Vampire and the Bear: Part One

Here’s a peak at the first chapter of The Vampire and the Bear: Part One. It’s unedited so please forgive any spelling or grammar errors.

 

Melody Jobs rushed across the compound. She was crying hard and having a difficult time casting the teleportation spell. The running was unnecessary. She should have dragged Violet from the room and teleported immediately but she had only been using magic for a few decades. It wasn’t natural to her yet. Running she could do and at very high speeds. Her base instincts told her run and get her daughter as far away from Olaf as she could.
Her poor, beautiful daughter was dying in her arms. That terrible werewolf had tossed her around like she was a rag doll. Melody had no idea how he had even done it. Violet was barely two decades old, a child in vampire terms, but she was strong. Melody had trained her hard and the girl was easily one of the strongest vampires in the New World. Still, the young werewolf had been able to best her easily.
Melody didn’t blame the dumb animal. He was only doing what he thought best to protect his mate. This was King Olaf’s fault. He had to make the stupid deal with the Lost Tribe Queen and get them into this mess in the first place. He and his brother Sven had sworn up and down to Melody that it was a no risk venture. The Queen had promised they would be allies once she managed to crossover with her sister’s help. Then, the vampires would reign over the New World and the party would never stop.
Now look where they were, the little witch had proved more powerful then Olaf expected and the wolf had somehow followed them. Violet had teleported across the globe to make it hard to follow her and still he had followed. This was not going to be an “easy venture.” She was done. Once her daughter’s life was in danger, Melody could no longer follow her King.
The question now was where was she going to hide Violet while she took care of the King? She couldn’t put her with any vampire in the area or any of Olaf’s allies. Any of her allies were out of the question too. That would be the first place Olaf and Sven would check. They would use Violet to get to Melody and in this weakened state it would be easy to capture the young vampire. No, Melody needed a place that no one would expect. There was only one place she could think of and so she teleported to a sunlight hell.

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New Release: A Very Witchy Wedding

WitchyWeddingThe short-story sequel to the Witch and the Wolf serial is available now! Grab your copy here. Here’s the blurb for the story:

Cross Hemlock has found his mate and now he wants to make it official. After dating witch Aurora Silver for less than a year, he knows he wants to be with her forever. Only, Aurora’s family isn’t going to make that easy. He’ll have to jump through a few hoops and find a missing fae before he can claim Rory as his bride.

See you guys early next week with the cover and an excerpt for my next short story!

An Excerpt: A Very Witchy Wedding

Next week, the short-story sequel to the Witch and the Wolf serial will be released. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:

Cross smoothed his jeans one more time and took a deep breath. He clenched his shaking hand into a fist and hammered at the door of the Silver Café. No one came so he had to knock again. He waited in the early morning light, but there was no movement in the diner.
“Shit,” he cursed loudly. He knew Magda Silver was in there. Her car was out back already and he had seen her leave her house at 5:20 a.m. She was probably in the back and couldn’t hear his knocking. He walked around to the back entrance and tried knocking again. Still no answer.
There was no way he could just go home now. His best friend, Ozzy, had helped him psyche himself up to even come this morning. He had tried asking Magda on seven different occasions before, only to find his throat too dry to talk. Ozzy had even driven with him to the block just before the diner. This was very unlike Cross. He wasn’t afraid of anything, especially not now that he had his beautiful fae-witch mate at his side.
Thinking of Rory gave him the courage to try once more. Cross went to the only window in the diner’s kitchen. It was high up so he had to climb on the dumpster and lean himself as far out as he could. He maneuvered himself into place and then rapped at the window four times before he fell down. He quickly ran to the back door and knocked hard.
The door flew open. There was flour on Magda’s hands and she looked very annoyed. “Cross?! What are you doing here at this hour? Is something wrong?”
Cross shook his head and ran a hand through his dark black hair. “Not at all. I was wondering if I could have a word with you?”
Magda gave him a shrewd look but stepped aside to let him inside. They walked over to the counter so she could continue making biscuits for the breakfast crowd. “What can I do for you this morning, dear?”
“I wanted to ask your permission to marry your daughter.” Cross said it all at once with no pauses between his words.
Madge slowly pulled the dough apart and put it onto a sheet to bake. “You want to marry my daughter?”
He nodded. “Yes. I know we haven’t been together that long, but there’s no one else for me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Rory and I know she feels the same way about me.”
Magda nodded. “You two have been dating for, oh…is it eleven months now?”
Cross shrugged. “I guess. Sounds about right.”
Magda only made a noise and kept dropping dough onto a second sheet. Cross was starting to get impatient. He much preferred being annoyed to his earlier nerves. Anger he could work with. Even if Magda said no, he would still ask Rory. He didn’t want it to come to that, but he couldn’t tell what Magda was going to do. She had never been a fan of her daughter dating a werewolf. Cross had risked his life to rescue Rory from her crazy half-sister, but Magda could care less.
She had been against their relationship from the start. Most of Rory’s coven sisters were weary of the relationship, but none were openly contemptuous like Magda. It seemed like nothing he did was good enough for her. That’s why he’d needed the pep talk from Ozzy before coming over. He never would have even asked, but he knew it was important to Rory.
“Well?” he prompted the old witch.
She looked up and arched an eyebrow at him. “Why in the world would I bless the union of my daughter and a were-creature?”
Cross’ wolf came awake at the question. The animal did not appreciate being called a creature. “I don’t know. Because I love her and I treat her right?”
“Do you?” Magda nodded. “But how will you treat her once you’re married? I’ve heard tales of weres just abandoning their pregnant mates once they find out the baby is a girl.”
“I would never do that! Some packs cling to barbaric ways, but you know my father would never allow that of the Moon Brothers.”
“Where will you live?”
“She would be welcome at the compound after we were officially mated. You’ve refused to come to my place, but it’s pretty nice.”
“So says the werewolf.”
“Rory is there all the time and your entire coven came over last year at the winter solstice.”
“My coven doesn’t have the most discerning tastes. What does your father have to say about this proposed union?”
“I haven’t asked him yet. I wanted to ask you first.”
“Hm. What do you think he’ll say?”
Cross’ wolf was at the end of its chain. The urge to growl was so strong he was sweating. “He’ll say ‘great.’ No wolf will keep another from its true mate.”
“How are you sure Rory is your true mate?”
He threw his hands in the air. “If you want to say no, just say no! I’m not going to jump through hoops when you don’t like me to begin with. I’m only here because I know Rory would want me to ask you.”
“No need to get loud.” Magda put the pans in the oven and wiped off her hands.
Cross pulled the ring out of his pocket. “I’m going to ask her no matter what. If after everything we’ve been through you still want to say no, that’s up to you. I’ll never be able to convince you.”
Magda held up her hand. “I never said no. Do you think I’ll so easily agree to give up my only child?”

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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An Excerpt: A Very Witchy Wedding

This Month & Future Plans

Hello lovelies!

I want to keep you guys updated on what’s coming from me this month & in the new year. I just finished the Violet serial & it’s off for edits now. It’s a short two-part serial that introduces a new couple in the Witch & Wolf universe. They play a part in the upcoming novels. Yes, that’s where we go next now that the Black Oak Shifters story is finished. Next month, the first novel in that universe releases. I’ll have a cover reveal & excerpt for that next month.

Most importantly, the Violet story will likely be my last serial. Going into the new year, I have no plans to release anything less than a 100 pages & no more “part one”, ” part two”, etc. books. I really LOVE serials but the stories I want to tell no longer fit into the serial model of story telling. I always want to give you guys the best quality stories & the only way to do that is with longer books. That means I’ll be releasing less frequently than I did this year BUT you’ll be getting longer stories. Seems like a fair trade off

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Cover Reveal: The Shifter’s Choice

Shifters Choice

 

 

Here is is the lovely cover for the final Black Oak Shifters novel. I know I’m a little late with this. Sorry! I’ll have the first chapter sneak peek up later this week for you guys.

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