Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guest Author - Willow Brooke - Enlisting her Heart



Blurb:

The troops finally land a vacation in a tropical paradise for some much needed R&R and a honeymoon celebration. With time to unwind, Hulk (Zane Menroe) moves in on the one little red head that’s been on his mind since she arrived at the ranch- Violet Larose. He’d been keeping her at a distance until he got grips on some of the anxiety and anger issues that kept plaguing him. Their mission is at a stand still and the sun warm, sand soft, and drinks ever flowing. What better time then the present to make his move?

Kodiak (Nik Hughes) has enjoyed the playful flirting with Violet, but wants more. A lot more. He knows Hulk has a thing for her that she returns, but doesn’t think that should stop him from moving in. What’s to not like about a good ménage relationship, right? Normally, it’d be the woman that would need some extra convincing and persuasion, but not in this case. He’s up against not only one of the most stubborn soldiers he’d ever met, but one that is suffering from extreme PTSD and in denial.

With the enemy hunting on their territory and endangering the family they hold so dear, the unit must lay it all on the line to protect them. The mission is down to the wire and the victory in sight, but can they figure out who is friend, and who is foe?

This book contains real problems that real soldiers deal with on a daily basis. Join me in a journey of love, action, and a family pulling together to help their soldiers regain control of their life as they take on the world in order to protect our country and defend our freedom. Sweet romance, hot ménage sex that will curl your toes, and a bunch of soldiers who will steal your heart and leave you wanting more all awaits you!



Enlisting her Heart is now available at AMAZON


You can find out more about Willow Brooke, including the rest of the Breaking Protocol books at her website: Willowbrooke.weebly.com or email her at willowbrookebooks@gmail.com

Monday, August 18, 2014

Writers Against Bullying - why I am taking part



The Evernight family of authors is getting together to help get the anti-bullying message out via selfies and social media, and I thought I’d talk a little about what I know about bullying.

It hurts.

I’m forty-four years old, and I can still hear the taunts and cruel comments of my fourth grade classmates. I can remember the heartbreak of having my closest friends turn their backs on me. I didn’t know then that they too, were being bullied, pressured into going along with the mob. I only knew that I had lost all my friends.

I lost a lot more than that before the school year end. I lost my smile. I lost my confidence, and I lost part of who I was supposed to be. I had my childhood stolen from me by other children, and they got away with it because they were just “kids being kids.” One counsellor even told me that if I was being bullied, I must be doing something to cause it, that somehow I deserved it.

I gained things too. Scars on my back from being poked and slashed with those nasty little math set compasses we had to buy every year (but almost never used.) I learned how to fight, because I had to defend myself from constant physical attacks. I learned not to trust teachers or counsellors, because no matter what my parents had promised me, not every adult was willing to help, or even let themselves see what was happening to me on a daily basis. Being bullied gave me a spectacular set of anxieties that I still have to do battle with to this day.

Grade four was the first time I experienced true bullying, but it wasn’t the last. My self confidence was already shattered by the time my parents moved me to another school, and that was all it took to continue the cycle. I would never fit in again. That ship had sailed and I was stuck on the island of lost dreams with the rest of the social misfits for the rest of my academic prison sentence. (we were easy to identify, we were the ones with eyes downcast, scuttling down the hallways with our shoulders hunched, waiting for the next mocking taunt or random shove.) I was bitten, beaten up, mocked, teased and ignored. I ate my lunches hiding in the art room, under the protection of one of the few teachers who saw what was happening and offered me a safe haven.

These days, I don’t let anyone bully me. I’ve got a successful career, good friends and a life I am proud of. I carry myself with confidence. (or at least I try to.) I have tattoos, pink hair and enough ‘tude to carry me through just about anything. I’ll tell you a secret though, it doesn’t matter. Part of me is still that lost, hurt, nine year old girl. I still feel her hurt and hear her self doubts. I just don’t let it stop me from being who I want to be. Who I should have been.

Before the bullies took that from me.

No one deserves to be bullied. It’s never an acceptable way to treat another person, not as a child, or as an adult. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. They can be a child in the playground, a boss, or a stranger on the street.

We can end bullying, but that means doing the one thing that scares most of us to death. It means standing up to the bullies and telling them to stop. If someone had stood up for me, I know my life would have been different.

This world can be better, but only if we all stand up for what’s right.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Inked

The deed is done and I am now the proud owner of a new tattoo. I'm really pleased with how it came out. Since this tattoo was on my forearm,  I was able to watch the artist at work for the first time. It was fascinating to see her transform a simple stenciled shape into a work of art. Seeing the difference between how lines and shading are created, watching the tattoo take shape and being able to ask questions because I could see what was happening from moment to moment, all made this a very unique experience. I already know that some of these details will be making their way into Wilde Ink, which I'm currently writing.



The design is based on the scroll "fertility tattoo" given to women in the 3013 series I write with Laurie Roma. Of course, those women have the tattoo by their eye, but I opted for my arm instead. This way I can see it whenever I want without needing a mirror. Now if I could just find a couple of fine fellows to claim I could get a matching one on my other arm, life would be perfect....
Ah well, a girl can dream!  




Thursday, July 31, 2014

I’m Thinking Ink




Today I went down to my favourite tattoo shop, Tattoo Zoo, to talk about what my next tattoo is going to be. I’ve been thinking about this for nearly a year now, and I’ve finally decided on a design.

I’ve got three tattoos already, and each one of them has marked an important moment in my life, a milestone that I want to celebrate. This one is no different. After my last tattoo, I didn’t think I’d get another one, but back then I never imagined that one day I’d be brave/crazy enough pursue my dreams of having a writing career. Two years ago this August, I got my first book accepted for publication. It was time I did something to mark that anniversary.

Next Thursday is the day, and once it’s done I promise there will be pictures. I won’t tell you what I’m getting done, but I will say that my design choice was influenced by the 3013 books. *grin* Those of you you’ve read them can probably guess what that means. The rest of you will just have to wait a week to find out.

I’m excited and can’t wait to see what my artist comes up with. I plan on pestering her with questions too, since my current project is to write Wilde Ink, I’m sure some of my experiences (and her answers) will end up in the book.

There’s just one thing left to do before next Thursday… I need to tell my parents I’m getting inked. Again.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Giveaway (and random musings on frogs)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. 
~ Albert Einstein



Everything in life, from politics to wallpaper, is affected by our perceptions. Yes, I said wallpaper, trust me, it’ll all make sense soon. Over the course of the summer, I’ve experienced several incidents that reminded me that one person’s absolute truth can be another person’s pile of bovine fecal matter. It’s all a matter of perception, personal preference, and our inherent biases.

As an example of how easy it is for two people to look at the same thing and take away two very different impressions, I give you the wallpaper we have at work. It’s fancy. It’s Victorian, it’s got eye-boggling patterns, and it’s become something of a game to ask visitors what they see when they look at it.

Now, take a look at all those swirls and colours and textures and see if you can find something recognizable in all that visual clutter. 



Got it? Great. Now take a look at the picture below, where I’ve picked out the three most common things people see.


Now go look back at the first picture again. Can you un-see the patterns? I can’t. I see the frog every time and I have to really concentrate to see the others at all. Apparently I’m biased and prefer frogs. (Clowns terrify me, so I’m not really surprised by this.)

I’m far from perfect, but I do try and see past the frogs most days, with varying success. It’s easier to cruise through life on default, and our default setting is that it’s all about us. Everything happens to us, because of them. *waves hands vaguely at the rest of the world.* 


 Stepping out of that mentality isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Otherwise when the day comes, and it will come, when you’re the one causing the problem, you won’t be able to see it. All you’ll see are your personal frogs, hopping around and obscuring the truth. (Frogging up your vision, as it were... sorry for the pun, I couldn't resist.) 


Just for fun (and to atone for that terrible pun) I'm doing a giveaway. All you have to do to enter is post in the comments and tell me what YOU see when you look at the wallpaper. Winner gets a copy of my newest release, 3013: STOWAWAY. (or a choice of any book in my back catalog.) 


I'll announce a winner on Friday, the 25th of July.