My First Scuba Adventure.

581774_453068218125098_1657927492_nHello once again, readers!

What’s that? Is that an alien from another planet I am holding in my orange-handed steel grip?

Why no…it’s not, actually. It’s a freaking lobster! And I am going to eat him!

That’s right…you heard me. I spent the past four days out in the middle of the Keys putting my newly acquired scuba skills to the test! And boy was I successful! I conquered my fear of being eaten by a shark and battled these blasted alien lobsters right out of their little holes in the bottom of the ocean and right into my little bag clipped to my BCD.

Man that was a long sentence.

Any who, it was a wonderful experience. We not only caught a ton of lobster, but we found an old spear gun, a couple of glass bottles, a diver flag and a weight belt. I saw many lion fish, grouper, brain coral, schools of little fish, eels, of course lobsters and other things that I didn’t know but stayed cleared from.

But most importantly, I gained a little more self-confidence. I proved to myself that I am capable of way more that I thought I was.

But I digress…

Here are some pictures from the trip:

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An old Diet Pepsi bottle I snagged.

 

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A warning sign in a gas station.

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The sunset at the southern-most tip of America!

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A great and very successful day of lobstering!

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One of the many Iguanas we saw.

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Me and my scuba buddy Chuck about to drop in.

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The awesome spear gun we found on one of our dives.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I came away with 14 lobster (my share) but as a group we caught 42. Not bad for my first time. :) Any who, that’s all for now. I can’t wait to tell you about the Bookfest! I sold all of my print copies!!!

Okay… Echelon out ♥

 

How Do You Say Goodbye?

photo3Hello once again, Readers!!!

I know I have been MIA for some time now, but that is because I have thrown myself into finishing this trilogy. Guess what!? Last night I finally reached that moment where the final two words were written.

The end.

*tear*

I am beginning to feel separation anxiety. How do I say goodbye to my characters who I have become so close to? How do I move on to another set of characters?

I have my WIP from NaNo just waiting for me to jump back into, and for a while I couldn’t wait to finish this trilogy so I could get back to it, but now that my first draft is complete…ahhh.

There is so much pressure with this one. This is it. There will be no fourth. Every idea, every foreshadow, every minor plot, they all have to come together in an explosion of epicosity. The final battle between good and evil. Deciding their fates from that point on.

When I started this whole idea back in 2009, I had no idea that it would actually get published. I had a faint idea of where the story was going, but never all of this. I approached the second novel with a heavy mind, wondering if I could do it. Would I be able to write another? And I was surprised once again by how easily the words flowed out. The characters took me places that I had never imagined before. They wanted their story told.

Which brings us to the third. From the Embers.

Last night I finished it; the final chapter in Aurora’s story. My heart pounded and my hands shook as I typed those last two words. My throat felt tight. I couldn’t tell if I was delighted or sad. I didn’t know if I wanted to do a happy dance or cry. I thought maybe I was having a bit of a panic attack. So I went to bed.

My characters have literally been put through hell. The story and all its many layers have unraveled, and the ending sentence is dangling before me. Am I being a bit dramatic? Maybe, but this is my first real ending. This was my first project. This idea that sprung to life is what changed my life. I will forever be grateful to these characters for showing me where my path rested in life.

Okay, now I am getting emotional so I need to stop. I still have a ton of editing to do with it. It is, after all, the first draft. I still have many more months to spend working on them between wrapping up and publishing Embracing the Flames, and then getting through my own personal edits and read-throughs to send From the Embers in to my publisher for review.

So it’s not really over yet. I just can’t believe how everything turned out. Bittersweet and definitely not what I had expected in the beginning. I mean that in a good way. To all of my readers, you are in for a surprise. ;)

Any who, that is all for now. Now to leave you with a question: Who’s ready for Game of Thrones!?

Echelon out ♥

Did I Delete That?

6829eedefc78758768f32a0366f3930aHello once again, Readers! Long time no talk. I’ve been writing my fingers off, well, maybe not literally…you know what I mean.

Any who.

I went through my deleted scenes the other day, just for old times sake, and stumbled on quite a bit that I had forgotten about. It’s funny when you write your first draft, just how completely different it can be from your final story. Born in Flames was my first attempt at writing…like ever. And when I looked back at that very first draft, I shook my head in shame lol.

Wowza.

But I digress.

I have quite a bit of backstories for certain characters and other scenes that didn’t make the final cut at the last minute. There are some, like the one I will be sharing with you today, that I am a little sad I cut. But the good thing is I kept it. I know I’ve said before to keep everything you cut and this is exactly why. Though I will never use it for other novels, I will always have it to share with my lovely readers. So all hope is not lost.

*Potential spoiler alert for those who want to, but haven’t yet read Born in Flames.*

Long story short, there were a series of dream sequences in Born in Flames that occurred after Fenn left when he received the letter where he visited her in her dreams. She only believed it as a dream when in reality, he was really visiting her using the magic from the other realm. It didn’t make the final cuts because at the time, I didn’t think it was necessary. I wanted to take away her security blanket so she could see that she could do it on her own. My publisher was actually sad that I didn’t want to keep them. Reading back through them, I kind of wish I had lol. Any who, here is the first time she dreamed of him the night he left after she fell asleep in a heap of tears:

Images of fire raced through my mind. I was somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, a place where I could finally be in a state of ease. A place where the boulder of lies could be lifted off my chest.

The fire ceased and I slowly opened my eyes, noting there was absolutely nothing surrounding me. I was standing in a white nothingness. I mean literally, there was nothing as far as the eye could see.

“I knew I was sick and twisted,” I said out loud. How could I portray loneliness as a comfort in my dream? Maybe it was my mind’s way of training itself into thinking being lonely is comforting. A survival instinct.

“You’re not sick and twisted,” floated the beautiful, haunting voice of my despair.

Well there you have it, proof that I am sick and twisted. This must be my way of torturing myself, I thought.

I stood there for a moment trying to come up with a good reason as to why I would do this to myself. Maybe for closure? That is if I had said everything I wished I would have said before he had the chance to run from me.

“Please turn around,” his pleading voice commanded as he gently tugged at my arm. The warmth of his touch illuminated my scarred heart. The lullaby played softly on the air, mood music between me and my fictional friend. I couldn’t help but wish deep down that he would really be real. That he had really come back for me.

No. This type of thinking will only make you pay when you wake up and find yourself alone again, I thought painfully.

But I did as he asked and turned to face him, my breath catching at the sight of his handsome face. It was as if there was a halo of light beaming down upon him, lighting up every chiseled, mesmerizing feature. His eyes sparkled above his perfect smile.

“I’m sorry I left you like that, but I had no choice,” he coaxed, leaning his head down to mine where our foreheads met. He wrapped me up in his arms. I don’t know why I let him, but I do know that the hole he left felt temporarily full, even if he was imaginary. But it wasn’t quite enough to curb the nerve he struck with his admittance of having no choice.

“Really?” I asked mockingly. “You had no choice in leaving the one person who has never failed you, behind?” I yanked myself free and stood back to glare up at him. Only this death stare wasn’t meant to be cute. It was meant to show the gut wrenching pain I had been put through since he left.

He winced.

“You’re so called “mother” left you to grow up in a foster home, Fenn, never letting you know who or where she was,”  I gritted out, my voice steadily rising. “How could you just drop everything, drop me for that matter, because she came calling out of the blue?”

He reached for me, but I yanked away. I wanted the ease and comfort of this dream to come back, but the pain had poisoned its way in, preventing me from holding back.

Forcefully, he pulled me into him, pressing my heated face against his chest.

Good, maybe the angry tears swimming in my eyes will burn him, I thought.

But I allowed myself to smell his familiar scent and felt the anger temporarily subside instead. He felt and smelled so real. And I wanted nothing more than for it to be true. For him to be here with me.

My body caved in against my mind’s command, relaxing into him. There was no point in guarding myself. This was going to hurt immensely in the morning.

“You have to keep searching, Rory. I know that now.” He let his head drop, eyes scanning the floor. With his voice a few octaves softer he continued, “Don’t let my stupidity put a halt to your life. It’s not worth it.” I think I heard him catch his breath as he broke off on that last sentence.

This was easy for him to say, but not easy for me to execute.

Does he not understand what it feels like to be left behind? How could he not, he’s a foster child, I thought, vibrating with hurt and anger.

He let his goofy grin try and push away my sad thoughts, and then looked behind us suspiciously. “I can’t stay in your dream, I have to go now. Remember you’re stronger than this. I won’t be able to come back for awhile, but just know that I’m always with you as corny as that sounds.” He nudged me with his elbow then pulled me into him.

I was so confused by what he was saying.

“I miss my friend,” I whispered desperately, not wanting to let him go again.

“I miss you more,” he replied in anguish. His words sounded like an apology.

Then I felt his lips brush my forehead as I closed my eyes and let myself really feel him. When I opened them again, he was gone.

Sitting there in my white nothingness, I thought about everything he had said. The dreams I had of Zordon needed to be pursued and I had to go on alone if I was going to accomplish this. I just hated having to do it alone. I guess it was time for me to grow up though.

Maybe I’m not so sadistic after all. My subconscious was just giving me a good kick in the ass.

And scene.

There are a few more dreams that I will eventually share. But in the meantime, how about I leave you with a question?

How often do you dream and do you remember when you wake?

Echelon out ♥

Giveaway Time…Again!!

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photo credit: gabi_menashe via photopin cc

Hello once again, Readers!! What?! Cute, cuddly, tickle-me-please baby feet are the featured photo on my blog today?!? Could that mean….

No.

I am happy with my two crazy, loud, full-of-energy children. I’m afraid if I had another, I would for sure need to be admitted into a loony bin.

Just sayin’.

A very close friend that my husband and I have known since we were kids just had his first child on Wednesday (well his wife had him). I am so freaking excited about this, you have no idea. The baby was a healthy, 8lb 5oz boy delivered in the afternoon. Perfection.

This is such a revelation for me because none of our friends have had kids yet. Well, except for Sonya, but her kids were older when we met and became besties. This is my first experience with someone other than myself having a baby. And it was just as magical. I just wanted to congratulate my friends. They did a wonderful job and I am very proud of them.

But I digress. On to the reason you are here.

The initial Facebook giveaway of 500 likes was a success. We reached it, found a winner, and I have gained a bunch of new friends and followers that I converse with daily because of it. Not to mention the advertising and sales that have stemmed. It was so successful, that I’ve decided to bump it up a notch to reach 1000 likes. And rather than sending you to my Facebook page to join in the fun, I am posting the giveaway on this blog so you can enter and reblog! If you so please, that is.

Follow this link to enter for your chance and to reveal the AWESOME prizes:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nice right? I thought so myself.

In other news, I should have a cover reveal coming sometime this week after my publisher sends me the completed files. I am SO excited to share it with you all. It sticks to the same theme as the Born in Flames cover, but with a new twist! Eek!

That being said, Echelon out!

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Born in Flames Playlist

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photo credit: Fey Ilyas via photopin cc

Hello once again, Readers!!!

Let’s start this baby off with a quote today.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” ― Victor Hugo

How do you like that….huh…huh? Powerful stuff right?

I know, which is why I am writing about music today or more specifically, about the playlist for my novel, Born in Flames.

I love music. It is the single most powerful art form that moves me. The next would be dance, and then paintings… I digress.

Every note, every key, it all pulls me to a place that is indescribably beautiful. A place where words are never enough. Only the sound of the music and the way it makes you feel on the inside. Exactly like what a good book does. And when I think of my story and try to sum it up, the emotional part of it I mean, there are a few songs that hit home. So this would have to be the playlist for Born in Flames.

  1. Active Child – Hanging On.
  2. Florence + The Machine – Drumming Song.
  3. Christina Perri – Arms.
  4. The Knife – Heartbeats.
  5. 30 Seconds to Mars – Alibi.
  6. The Xx – Shelter.
  7. Paramore – Adore.
  8. M83 – Another Wave From You.
  9. Mutemath – You Are Mine.
  10. Blondfire – Walking With Giants.
  11. Ellie Goulding – I Know You Care.
  12. Gary Jules – Mad World.

And scene.

Some you may now and some you may not. I love them all. Each song fits a specific scene and the lyrics all relate somehow to the characters and what they are going through. The fun part would be listening to it as you’re reading Born in Flames, and trying to figure out what song pertains to what.

Now to leave you with a question: If you’ve read Born in Flames, do you have any song suggestions to add to the playlist?

P.S.

I don’t know how many of you are Game of Thrones and Dexter fans, but I sure am. Like mad crazy. When I saw this, I died laughing. Okay, well maybe I didn’t die, but you can imagine my delight!

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Echelon out ♥