Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Unlikely Pair: The High School Years - Free on Amazon #MyOnceAndFutureLoveSeries #YoungAdult #NewAdult

Free again! After a week-long glitch, the price for AUP: The High School Years has been returned to what it should be. My Street Team rocks for all their help.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#4,406 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories
#43 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Coming of Age

By typical standards, Beth and Jacob should've never been friends, but it's funny what Geometry class and a shared backyard wall can bring about.

Young adult novella. 46 pages.

Beth and Jacob sprang to life on May 13th, 2007. The journey with these characters hasn't always been easy, but I hope you'll love them, too.

My Once and Future Love series:

An Unlikely Pair: The High School Years
An Unlikely Pair (1st novel)
Personal Attention (2nd novel)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - Remember Why It Exists

A good place to start is here:  Find out how to volunteer, share a remembrance with others, and more helpful links.

If you see a member of the military today, say thank you. Thank your fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers who served. Tell them we will not forget you.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Special Announcement! #MyOnceAndFutureLoveSeries #ContemporaryRomance #Writing

Thanks to encouragement from my Street Team, I'm here to tell you....


A few chapters of.....

Book 3 are available to read.


I'l tell you where in a minute. First, know that this is still a work in progress and any content is still subject to change. Second, don't even think about grabbing any of this text and spreading it around. It's a violation of my copyright and against the rules of the host site.

Now that's out of the way...

Start reading and reviewing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Let's Talk About Bullying

I haven't done a more serious thoughtful post in a while, so here goes.

The bullying Beth endures in An Unlikely Pair: The High School Years is based on real life events.

Despite liking my teacher, I dreaded going to English even more now than the second day of school.  Chad Cromlin had been the bane of my existence for two months.

Mom taught me to ignore bullies and they’d stop.  Not this jerk.  Today’s stunt?  Poking me with an extending pen wand.  I was trying to do the in-class reading and he kept tapping my ribs with the stupid thing—always when the teacher’s back was turned, of course.

Didn’t want to be a tattle-tale, what with my already minimal popularity, but how long would this go on?  He had to get bored soon, right?

True story. By the time I was 14, I was used to being "picked on". I was smaller than everyone else, wore glasses since 3rd grade, and got straight A's. In 6th grade classmates called me The Walking Dictionary (with my counterpart, Scott, being The Walking Encyclopedia). Yeah, it annoyed me, but it wasn't a big deal. I had friends. I had a mother and grandparents and uncle that loved me.

Then, 9th grade English. The boy sat in the desk to my right. I did my best to ignore him. Once he started poking at me with the telescoping pointer, I'd turn my back to him. All of the bullying always happened before class got started and the teacher was paying attention. I liked my teacher. She was a good. It was just this jerk.

Semester finals week in late January, I walked into English and found a folded piece of paper on my desk.  It was an obscene drawing with my name on it.  Chad laughed when I looked at it.  I crumpled it into a ball, stuck it in my jacket pocket, and opened my lit book.  Always kept layers on in that class even if I was warm.  It was finally time to talk to my teacher now I had evidence.  Then, he started poking me with the pen wand again, under my right arm in the side of my nearly-non-existent boob.  Ms. Blake was lecturing, so I turned my back on him and tried not to cry.
“Heh, knew you were frigid,” Chad said under his breath.
Yep, the drawing happened, too. It was waiting on my desk when I got to class. I set it aside. The boy thought the whole thing was funny. And he did call my frigid (and poked the side of my right breast, which startled me but didn't make me cry). I had to look that up, and then was indignant, because I knew I wasn't. (There was a fiction book in the library that was a bit risque for a teen romance in one scene. It turned me on. I read that book 2 or 3 times, lol.) Anyway, the drawing was his downfall. Now I had proof, I took it to my teacher after class. The boy got punished, then moved to the other side of the room for the rest of the year.

That was my first experience with sexual harassment. I knew what it was by definition from TV, but you don't really know the nuances, how it comes up and how it makes you feel, until it happens.

I wrote Jacob coming to Beth's defense because it would be a bonding moment for them, but Beth would've been fine on her own, too. Unfortunately, I know a lot of female readers will be able to empathize with what she went through. Please, if you're a mother to a son, do you best to teach your boy how to respect women. This kind of behavior isn't funny. It isn't cute. It isn't "just boys being boys." I dread to think of what's going around on the internet where parents and teachers can't stumble across it.

Please, if you have daughters or nieces or granddaughters, talk to them about bullying and sexual harrassment. They don't have to feel ashamed because of a boy picking on them and they don't have to stay silent about it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy birthday! #MyOnceAndFutureLoveSeries

Today marks the 6th birthday of Jacob and Beth's creation.

Beth and Jacob sprang to life on May 13th, 2007. The very first scene I wrote was her dream in Personal Attention. The original concept of their story was inspired by the episode "What Is and What Should Never Be" of Supernatural, though obviously with no magic or mythical creatures involved. But seeing an alternate version of you life based on what you wished could be? Yeah. Exactly what Beth got, and why she had to choose to let the fantasy go and wake up.

The story expanded from there. I had around 35,000 words by November 2008 (despite Tech Guy being laid off in April), and reached 50,000 in March 2009.

2010, well, that was the year of family deaths. I lost my dad and grandfather 6 months apart, so obviously, I wasn't feeling inspired to write.

The first half of their story was finally done by April 2011, with the original version novel going up May 13, 2011. I figured it was long enough, that the open-ended happy ending of them committed and in love was enough, but by the end of summer requests were coming in for more.

In September 2011, I injured my right shoulder and arm. It's a chronic problem since that causes pain, weakness, tingling, numbness, etc.

Took until November 2011 to make up my mind about even attempting to add to Beth and Jacob's story. And November 2011 wasn't pleasant. I started the month with the worst stomach flu I'd ever had in my life, and that was just the start of everything that was going wrong.

For 2012, I was in too much pain at the computer to attempt typing much until July, but I still put up the short story Turn the Page (a song title, actually) on May 13th. This covered one week for Jacob and Beth, between Christmas and New Year's, and finished Jacob's foreign tour. It's now the ending of Personal Attention.

So where does the end of their story, book 3, stand now? 24,313 words of a rewrite. Because it definitely needed a rewrite. I can't write happy content when my life is full of crap. I've mentioned that before, but I'll repeat it again. I'm not one of those people who made up and wrote stories as a little child. I didn't start writing fiction until 2005 and it's still not natural to me. It's not where my innate talents lie. So, I had 35,000 words of material to start with and I've rewritten 24k so far. And this is still a hard book. Hardest book I've ever tried to work on. I do it because you all keep asking for it. I'd be happy working on any of the other dozen or so ideas in my Work-in-Progress folder right now.

And that's the history of the My Once and Future Love series to date.