Sunday, October 24, 2021

When Night Bumps Out the Day, Vampires Come Out to Play by Sydney Winward


I’ve always had a fascination with vampires, from their skewed moral codes to their diet to their strengths and weaknesses. I've written an entire vampire series, but it wasn’t without a heavy amount of research. Here are some interesting things I came across as I was writing the series.


Interesting Facts About Vampires I Came Across in My Research for The Bloodborn Series

1. Burial

Some people, who were believed to be vampires, were buried with a severed head, with the head face down. That way if the vampire still lived, it couldn’t use its teeth to dig upward, but only dig themselves deeper downward.

2. Mirrors

Mirrors were backed with “pure” metals, which didn’t interact with a vampire. That’s why they were never able to see their reflection. It’s only when mirrors started being backed by metals not as pure were they considered able to see their reflections. This is only one take on mirrors and vampires, but it was my favorite one.

3. Weaknesses

Although vampires have many strengths, they also have weaknesses as well. Some of these include sunlight, garlic, holy water, and stakes (silver or wooden).

4. Vampires Can’t Enter a Building Without Permission

As long as you stay in sunlight, keep garlic on you, or stay inside, you are safe from a vampire! Unless you unknowingly invite one into your house…

5. Transformation

Vampires are known to be able to transform into animals such as bats, cats, mice, and more. They can even disappear into puffs of smoke as if they had never been there in the first place.

Although not all of these vampire facts made it into my Bloodborn novels, some things in the series are heavily based off of of few of these interesting details and superstitions. I’m particularly excited about book #5 coming out because I included a mirror crafted with impure metals. What happens when a vampire sees his reflection for the first time?

Find out in book 5!

For more cool stuff about vampires, check out The Bloodborn Series below.










Friday, October 22, 2021

What Inspires you? Interesting Thoughts From a Fine American By Tena Stetler

 

Interesting Thoughts From a Fine American. No, he wasn’t a paranormal, but a person who inspired others and got things done.  What inspires you?

Okay, this is a blog a bit different for me, in fact it’s way out of my wheelhouse. I hope you’ll bear with me….

I was saddened on Monday to hear that General Colin Powell passed away. He was respected by military and political leaders of both parties. Not many if any can lay claim to that statement.(Maybe he was paranormal after all) LOL He wasn’t perfect, but none of us are. “General Powell was one of the finest Americans never to be president.” I read that headline this morning and had to smile. He served his country on his terms and did it to the best of his ability. Many of our current politicians could learn a thing or thirteen from him. Okay, jumping down off my soapbox and shoving it under the bed…for now.  Still I think the Thirteen Rules Powell lived his life by is something we as writers, as well as ordinary people can benefit from. What do you think?   

     1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.

2. Get mad, then get over it.

3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

4. It can be done!

5. Be careful what you choose. You may just get it.

6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.

7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.

8. Check small things.

9. Share credit.

10. Remain calm. Be kind.

11. Have a vision.

12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.


That being said I intend to use my perpetual optimism to tell you about A WITCH’SJOURNEY, first book in the series with the same name. On sale for 99 cents in celebration of Halloween my favorite holiday! Download a copy today and join the magical, fantasy, mystery adventure!

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?

A peek between the pages of A WITCH'S JOURNEY - Lathen put his hand on her shoulder. “Where’d you go? Been sitting there, knife extended above the pumpkin, for fifteen minutes. Are you going to carve it or just threaten it?” He guffawed and wrapped his large callused hand around hers holding the knife, brought it to the pumpkin, and made carving motions, then tried to hand her an erasable marker. “Try using this first.”

She pushed his hand away and frowned at him. “Oh, stop it. I was thinking about this evening after the celebration. I don’t want anything to go wrong.”

“It won’t. We have a solid plan and several powerful witches to bring it to fruition. So relax and enjoy the festivities of your favorite holiday. But the decorations will be lacking if you don’t get to carving. We need twenty-five jack-o-lanterns, by your own count, for the gazebo and surrounding area tables in the town square. I have the candles and holders for each right here.” As he swung the bag in front of Pepper, the tinkling sound of glass clinking together had her frowning.

                                        ****

Thanks for bearing with me this month. Happy Halloween!! Until next time, don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Haunted Memphis by Elizabeth Alsobrooks


It’s that time of year again, and this year my publishing company’s Halloween party’s theme is haunted Memphis. Memphis is known for Blues music and Rock and Roll. There are many ghosts there, including some very famous ones. Not only is it the home of Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, it is also the site of the tragic murder of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Lorraine Motel is now the location of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Another famous museum, the National Ornamental Metal Museum, the site of a Civil War hospital complete with a morgue and body chute. Supposedly it’s haunted by the many soldiers who died there.

Memphis is filled with famous and infamous bars, hotels and houses that are said to be haunted. 

Take a spooktacular tour here: www.halloweenhorrorparty.org

Or, here's a sample: 



Saturday, October 16, 2021

Everyone Loves a Good Villain

 


We spent countless hours combing over our main character's every detail. Their height, eye color, inner motivations, outer actions. We have got a reason for them all. But what about our bad guys? How much time do we spend developing them?

Is there anything worse than an underdeveloped antagonist for a protagonist? For the sake of this post, we are going to say no. 

You see, we understand what motivates our protagonist. We can tell you what incident from childhood (or adulthood) changed them irrevocably. But can we do the same for our bad guys? As you sit down to think up your next villain, allow me to suggest a few areas to consider. 

Consider Their Motivation

Sure, we could make a villain unlawful evil. There's certainly a place for them in fiction, but more often than naught, our antagonist became that way for a reason. It's our job to understand where their motivation comes from even if they see less page time than our main character. 

Consider the Type of Bad Guy You Need

What if you made your antagonist someone your reader wanted to root for at times of the book? Maybe they could become that character that takes things a bit too far, but we can understand why it all went wrong for them. 

What if you switched the morality of the story? In the villain's mind's eye, are they really the good guy? If so, how does that ideology manifest in their interactions with the other characters in this story?

Your book might need the bad for bad's sake villain, but it's just as possible that your book needs a bad guy with a bit more to them. Avoid those simple, one-dimensional characters when you can, but definitely when that character is your antagonist. Otherwise, it will make your hero's victory less impactful. 

Make Sure Your Villain Follows Through

If your bad guy threatens to do something, then have them do it. Having an all bark no bite antagonist will frustrate your reader. We need the drama. Those nail-biting moments are what readers live for, so give them as many as you can. 

No matter what bad guy lives in your story's universe, give them a little extra attention because it will pay off for you and your reader in the long run. Think about what is driving them to be bad (or good in their mind). Give them lots of threats to follow through on, and make sure to pick the right one to go head to head with your main character. Because who doesn't love a good buy guy?


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Bring Your Inner Huntress by Marilyn Barr

 In the Northern hemisphere, we are one week from the Huntress Full Moon on 10/20/2021, nestled between Mabon and Samhain. While most of us are focused on getting our pumpkin spice fix, this period has a spiritual meaning in the witch’s community. The Anglo-Saxons considered this moon as their indication it was time to start preserving the meat they hunted for winter. During last month’s Harvest Moon, the tall grain crops were cut down and the landscape was revealed. Wild game can no longer hide within the stalks (of corn in my area of the world). The gatherers become the hunters and the whole tribe would focus on meat.

 (Harvest Moon from my cabin in Gatlinburg, TN, November 2020)

 

What does this have to do with the modern world? While most of my neighbors are excited about deer hunting season, I’m a vegetarian. I hunt a different animal – my goals. Witches are still hunting their dreams (feminine energy) and turning them into goals (masculine energy) to achieve balance which is the hallmark of Libra season. They aren’t scouting the countryside with slingshots…well, most of them. They prepare for the transformation to occur over the winter months with different weapons - vision boards, to-do lists, goal schedules, and planners. In ancient times, the transformation was whether the colony would starve or thrive. What will it mean for you? Who do you want to be when the snow thaws? It is time to dream….

 

      (Orange butterfly resting on my 2021 Harvest Moon Ritual Altar)

Last year, I posted on Instagram my “footstack of dreams” on the modern new year’s day but I actually made it for the witch’s new year – Samhain. Samhain is commonly known for symbolizing death with the thinning of the veil, “dumb supper”, and ghostly visitors, but what about the death of your old self and following rebirth? I challenged myself to advance the eight manuscripts in my head (at various stages of production on my chaotic desktop) into published books. I wanted my author career to transform from a one-hit-wonder to a profitable business. As the year progressed, I posted progress reports and found over 1000 supportive friends to cheer me on.

(2021 “Footstack of Dreams” and 9-month progress report)

As we head into these winter months, I challenge you to transform something in your life. While you may not have made a leaf chain of dreams like traditional witches on Mabon, you can still make a list of dreams to turn into plans. Like the deer who loses their antlers in the fall to grow a bigger set in the spring, do you dare to transform? I celebrate the bugs going dormant for the winter, but will they emerge as a spring plague? Let’s be as prolific as though pests and create a plague of books, art, and dreams coming true. Here’s the “book stack in my head” for 2022. The books on the side of the stack are with my editor while the stack itself is new or incomplete projects.

(2022 "Book Stack of Dreams" for 2022 vision board)


While you are embracing your inner witch to carve Jack-o-lanterns, why not invest in your future? It never hurts to dream….

(Cat is Tzatziki, age 3)

Sample a book from my 2021 footstack of dreams in the FREE novella of The Spy Who Was Out Cold (https://dl.bookfunnel.com/n2qqgi0ecy), the first half of The Spiritual Spy Duology. Follow Sergei Checkov to his happily-ever-after with the help of Katya the Telepath, Theresa, and Cassie the Spiritual Healer. This series is not for the faint of heart and explores the dark world of recovery after escaping child trafficking. (no child abuse on the page).

 

Curious? Here’s the back of the book blurb:

Three teens destroy a child trafficking ring and cage fighter circuit. Sergei dedicates the next fifteen years to saving kids like them. Ito takes over the drug and firearm pipelines to rise to a mob boss. Katya is a telepath caught in the middle who follows Ito’s promises of love…to her own destruction.

But Fate brings them together one last time as adults. Katya can choose the noble path with Sergei, but at what cost to Ito? Will she have the strength to leave him, or will her wicked programming jeopardize the mission? Despite his guardian angels looking down on them, this will be Sergei’s last mission – whether he retires to a quiet town or a quieter coffin.

 Get your free copy here - https://dl.bookfunnel.com/n2qqgi0ecy

Watch the series trailer here - https://youtu.be/ejbN9DJA69M

 


                                     



Sunday, October 10, 2021

Alien Legacy: The Psychic by Keri Kruspe



Here's a shameless plug for my newest SciFi Romance release!

Aliens captured her, making her into a dangerous weapon. He’s a wounded recluse obsessed with saving her.

Jordyn is a professional woman at the top of her game. That is until Auntie reveals the horrible truth. Not only is her aunt not her aunt, but she claims Jordyn isn’t even human. To make matters worse, Ancient Aliens from the distant past are coming back, intending to take over Earth.

And they need Jordyn to carry out their dastardly plan.

Psychic Michael feels the pull from Jordyn after the aliens release the power within her. But he knows he had to resist the urge to find her. If he and Jordyn come face to face, she’ll absorb his abilities which might end up killing him.

Drawn into a dream world, Jordyn and Michael discover they’re kindred souls. Their all-encompassing love is something they never believed possible.

Before the alien’s release Jordyn as a lure to capture Michael, she’s injected with a heinous poison that will force her to do what they want. Complete with a timer. Either bring Michael back or suffer an agonizing death.

Tick-Tock.

Jordyn can’t believe how fate has screwed her. She survives an alien abduction, endures alien experiments, given superpowers, and meets the man of her dreams.

Only to be forced to kill him… or die.

Reader Beware: If you like scorching hot alien-hybrids, gut-wrenching adventure, and a steamy romance, you'll love this series. While it is book three and the invasion is still creeping closer, there's no romance cliffhanger with a guaranteed HEA! This riveting Sci-Fi Romance is intended for mature audiences.


Click here


A little somethin' somethin' about the series

I’ve been fascinated by the works of Zechara Sitchin and Erich Von Daniken as well as the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. My underlying question, if those theories were true, what happens when the aliens come back? From there I got the idea to loosely base my newest SciFi romance series on that question. That’s when The Ancient Alien Descendants series was born. The prologue novella is offered FREE when you sign up for my newsletter on my website. 

This is Book 3 that features the middle son, Michael. Michael is not only the psychic of the group, but he is also a computer genius who was first introduced in the first and second books.
I admit this book turned out to be a little darker than the first two. The heroine, Jordyn, gets captured and experimented on by the aliens called the Akurns. And our hero, Michael, is a recluse who struggles to be around others after a crippling accident he caused in ancient Rome as a gladiator that cost the life of a beloved child.
Both Jordyn and Michael have to work through their emotional traumas to learn to trust each other to become who they were meant to be together. 


Want to get caught up?





An alien empath who long ago shut his emotions down. A lonely woman, unaware of her vital role in preventing an upcoming alien invasion. Thrown together by chance, can they overcome their mistrust to save us all?




A smart-ass alien shifter who struggles against past heartbreak. A woman who isn't what she thinks she is. Together on the run from invading aliens and the CIA.










I'm currently working hard on Book 4 - Alien Legacy: The Vampire. This one is taking us away from Earth on a hidden city the aliens created called Azadi. And, for the first time, one of our hero's (Zamush) steps foot on the alien planet of Akurn. I'm hoping to have an April release for that one (fingers crossed).

Here's to the upcoming holiday season. Happy Halloween!





Saturday, October 9, 2021

Treasured Furbaby Memories and Storytelling by Mary Morgan

Animals have always played an important role in my stories. Often, they’ve been known to steal the scene from a major character. I’m unable to halt their antics and recall my own experiences with those we’ve rescued and/or welcomed into our home. One particular wee doggie will remain cherished in our memories and heart. This is her story.



Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "The New World," is a haunting, beautiful piece of music and one that brings me to tears whenever I listen to the melody. I love that it speaks to me of hope—a new world, especially when it was the last music I heard as I carried my beloved wee dachshund out the door of our home to the vets that day fifteen years ago. Even as I sit here and type this post, my eyes are misted with unshed tears. She was diagnosed six months earlier with massive bone spurs in her spine and other issues that plagued her. The evenings were difficult, and she would whimper in constant pain. Pain meds did not help and surgery was not an option. When her legs began to give out, we knew it was time to send her to the Rainbow Bridge. It will always remain the most difficult decision that my husband and I made. But let me start at the beginning of her incredible life… 

Liezzel (named after the girl, Liesl in the Sound of Music) entered our family at seven weeks old. A name was chosen, and the children demanded to spell it their own way. In truth, she had many nicknames over the almost fifteen years of her life—from weasel, brat, nanny, nurse, escape artist, and my favorite, Brunhilda. She was a joy and light to everyone she met. A huge flirt with men, and sassy with women.

Whenever a new garden was planted in the spring, Liezzel had to supervise the planting. She never dug up the vegetables, flowers, or herbs, and not once did she use it as her toilet. She was inquisitive, often times watching me plant and then giving her final approval with an inspection.


Playtime was always an hour before meals. She’d bounce her ball all over the house for a solid hour. It would drive us crazy. Once, I took away her ball, but she would find something else and dash all around the kitchen. I realized it was a futile attempt to silence her. Even toward the end of her life, her love of playing never stopped.


We’ve had many animals in our family, but this doxie will always remain a treasured family member. Though I have never included a dachshund in my stories (perhaps one day), I honor my love of all animals in every book I write. They add an extra element to the story—one I treasure, and I hope you do, too.  


   

 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

She didn’t just find aliens—she found their secrets! Check out TRADE SECRETS by @CassChandler in #PetsInSpace 6! #SciFiRomance

TRADE SECRETS

The Department of Homeworld Security series

by Cassandra Chandler

Gwen Williams wants nothing more than to explore the vast possibilities of outer space, but Earth’s technology isn’t going to get her there. Her solution? Make contact with aliens. The only problem is, her plan works a little too well—landing her on the radar of a group of aliens with plans of their own that involve her homeworld.

Xan was just trying to help his Vegan friends avoid getting into trouble for messing with human things they should have left alone. He didn’t expect to run up against Gwen, a brilliant, beautiful Earthling who stirs a depth of emotion in him that he didn’t know he possessed—and who also has evidence of his friends’ transgression. Adding in the fact that the super-smart “space cat” who’s adopted him has plans to bring Gwen into their little family and this Coalition pilot has some tricky space to navigate.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, the trio discovers a plot on Xan’s ship that could compromise the security of all of their people—and the newly forged bonds between the sentients working toward peace in the galaxy. Will they be able to work together to secure a more peaceful future, or will their secrets drive them apart?

Available as part of Pets in Space 6 ANTHOLOGY!

Pets in Space® is back for a new year of adventures!

Join the incredible authors in this year's Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today's bestselling Science Fiction Romance and Fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don't miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late!



OUR CHARITY: HERO-DOGS.ORG

Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $15,300 in the past five years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space 6 will again go to Hero-Dogs.org. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space 6 today so together we can continue helping this worthy charity! https://www.hero-dogs.org/





Monday, October 4, 2021

The Evolution of My Writing Space

 By Maureen Bonatch 


When I decided to really focus on my writing I didn’t have a dedicated writing space. I always dabbled in some type of writing, whether it be poetry or short stories, but now I wanted to write a novel. I didn’t have an actual ‘space’ for writing—because we all envision having that cabin in the woods, or beach house to write our master pieces undisturbed—yeah, I’m still dreaming about that. 

 Instead I Got a Binder  

Sure, go ahead and laugh but I bet about 50% or more of you have your own little not-so-secret obsession with office products. One of my go-to products is always binders. Throw in some dividers, and if you have one with pockets all the better! 
 
I started off by carrying this binder around with my notes and other drafts and information when I was ready to write. 

When I say write, I mean type on my laptop. If any of you know me in real life, you know my handwriting is just…well, it’s practically illegible by now, even to me. I blame it on years of shorthand and taking too many notes in my college years.


         My  first writing assistant - Bummy - blocking my binder.

Break Out the Bulletin Boards  

Soon after I had to expand my writing supplies outside of binders to include another favorite of mine…bulletin boards. 

I’d put a timeline, pictures of my characters and notes on index cards (yes I love me some office supplies!). 

 Unfortunately, as the years went by, so did the number of stories I was working on. I’d start one, and then another, or set one aside to wait until I was ready to work on edits. (Face it. I’m never ready to work on edits. It’s just a necessary evil, and why I had to have so many darn bulletin boards so I could keep things straight!) 

By then I converted our guest room into an office (Sorry guests! I had to put all those bulletin boards somewhere, right?), but even that did not have enough walls for all the bulletin boards of notes. 

My initial thought was that if I got these thoughts onto index cards and on the board they’d be out of my mind. Because as many writers might understand, those characters just start to drive you crazy after a while if you ignore their stories. Or, worse, you forget what it was you wanted to write about. 




Scruff as a puppy trying to escape the office- most likely with a push pin that he's trying (and failing!) to sneak off with.

Back to Basics 


Once I was completely surrounded by bulletin boards (and even threw in a wipe off board and giant yearly wall calendar for planning), instead of feeling like I was organizing all my stories, I started to feel overwhelmed. As if those board were closing in on me when I entered the office to write (and they might have been, I found those push pins everywhere! It was becoming a hazard to keep adding notes). 

So I took it all down and put the information for each book…into binders. 


Once I started using easels for bulletin boards because I ran out of wall space, that's when I knew it was time for an intervention away from bulletin boards. 

Then, fast forward to me breaking down many of the binders and moving the information onto the computer into spreadsheets and organizing information in Google Docs & Scrivener. 

That has become my current process and is still a work in progress. But one thing never changed, and that was that I didn’t need an actual space to write. I still add notes onto my cell phone when I get an idea, and carry little notebooks everywhere to jot down inspiration. 
 

What should you take away from what I’ve learned in my process? 


Office products are awesome! Okay, maybe that's one thing, but not the main point.

  • Don’t wait for the right time or place to write—write when inspiration strikes, on whatever works best for you. 
  • And don’t be afraid to change your process. 

 Do You Have a Dedicated Space for Your Writing or other Passions? 


 Autumn has arrived! Looking to get cozy? 


A cozy mystery story, that is? Well, you’re in luck because here’s a great selection of cozy mysteries to curl up with on a cool autumn day.
Check it out right here
 https://books.bookfunnel.com/cozymysteriesforcoldautumnnightsku/o8t67ss1lc

It's October! Who's Ready for Treats?! 

Join the Midnight in the Garden Facebook Group (Click Right Here) today so you don't miss out on any treats!




Just a small-town girl, Maureen Bonatch leads a double life. She lives in a magical world as a novelist, and as a nurse leader in reality. Maureen’s first novella was a paranormal romance published when blogs were a new-fangled thing. She’s since changed her focus to writing paranormal cozy mysteries as M.L. Bonatch and urban fantasy as Maureen Bonatch. 

 While she’s not busy writing or doing nurse-things, she’s a mom to her twin daughters, bicycling in the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby, doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, and dancing as much as possible. She believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and that caffeine and wine are essential for survival. 

 Follow M.L. Bonatch all through cyberspace- she's new in town and can use some friends! 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Stealing Joy by Diane Burton

 


This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC


An interesting blog title caught my eye the other day. Comparison is the Thief of Joy by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

How often do we compare ourselves to others? As a young mother, a teacher, family member, a writer? I’m sure we’ve all had occasion to compare ourselves to someone else. A fellow teacher’s class is better behaved than mine; a friend’s kids are smarter than mine; my brother makes more money; an author friend sells more books. I could go on, but you get the picture.

What does this comparing do to us?

Make us jealous? Resentful? It steals the joy from what we are, what we have.

Shortly after I started writing as a career, I attended an all-day conference with Emma Merrit. What a great writer. She told a story of perseverance. How, when her husband was dying, she sat in his hospital room and wrote her story that was on deadline. Even though I hadn’t published and knew nothing about publisher deadlines, I thought “Wow!” That’s dedication.




As I’ve written before, my husband has had a lot of health issues that started during (but not related to) covid. So, as I became his full-time caregiver and did all the household chores he used to take care of as well as my own, my writing tapered off. Not an abrupt halt, just a petering out of creativity and energy. It was too much to open the file on my latest WIP. As he grew worse, and I spent hours in the hospital with him, I felt numb. I could manage the household, the bills, the visits during which he slept, but I couldn’t open a file.

 And I thought about Emma Merritt. She wrote while her husband was dying, and I couldn’t even open a darn file?

I didn’t think about what I was accomplishing. Since we both retired, we’ve always shared household chores. I left the physically hard work to him, while I made sure we had clean clothes and meals. I cooked, he cleaned up, and vice versa. Even through lower back pain that makes walking difficult, I went to the hospital every day, sometimes twice, and walked down long corridors to his room. We didn’t talk much. He’d ask about the kids then doze off, and when he awoke, asked the same questions.


On top of all that, covid kept us locked down. For the first half of this year when he was in rehab (2-3 weeks at a time), I wasn't allowed to visit. When he was home, we didn’t go anywhere. Our daughter and daughter-in-law worried so much about us, they kept the grandchildren away so we wouldn’t catch the disease. Isolation changed how we interacted with family and friends. Hubs was told to combat what we thought was the beginning of dementia, he needed to be physically, mentally, and socially more active. Socially? Yeah, right. I’m sure many of you can identify.

And, like most writers (there I go comparing myself), my book sales tanked. Without a new book, readers forgot about me. Without a new book, what was the sense of promoting? And I still couldn’t even open the file and finish a story.

When stress reared its ugly head, I made a decision. I could let covid isolation and Hubs’ illnesses eat me up inside or accept what was my new norm. No more comparing myself to Ms. Merritt. Or anybody. I would do what I could do. And enjoy my new life.


I discovered binge-watching Netflix and Prime. I read and read and read. I played computer games. All passive activities. I didn’t have to think or open any darn files.

Accepting the reality of life freed me to enjoy what I could. This summer, as Hubs recovered and became the man he used to be, I knew I’d made the right decision. I hadn’t allowed comparisons to steal the joy of my life.

As we return to a more “normal” life, I’m slowly getting back to routines and writing. Resentment that I wasn’t as strong, as creative, as energetic as others would have stolen the joy of the last two years. I’m my own person. I do what I can do and enjoy it.

 

 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Far Away Eyes by @meganslayer ~ @changelingpress #historical #lgbtq #gay #gayromance #recenthistorical #PNR #paranormal #startmeup

 A man who needs to get home, a man who isn't ready to let go and a love that surpasses death.



Far Away Eyes by Megan Slayer

(Set In Stone Multi-Author 13): A Start Me Up Story

Cover Art: Bryan Keller

BIN: 009958-03231

Genres: New ReleasesParanormalRomanceSci-Fi

Themes: 2nd Chance RomanceGayMagic

Series: Set In Stone Multi-Author (#13)

Book Length: Novella

Page Count: 52

His lover died and Gage knows he's got to move on but what if there's a chance Rascal can come back?

Gage knows Rascal is dying. The gay cancer has taken over his life and is killing him more each day. Gage knows his love can’t save Rascal, but what if there is a chance to change the future?

Rascal isn’t done loving Gage. He’s not ready to die. If he’s willing to accept the magic from Darryl at Start Me Up, he can come back.

He’s going to return to his love and life, no matter the cost. Now if only Gage will accept him…

 

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Copyright ©2021 Megan Slayer

“Lew will tell you something that seems impossible, but it’s not.”

He doubted he’d question Lew, the lawyer. But the whole situation seemed strange. “Okay.”

“You’ll think it’s far out, but I guarantee it’s real,” Chris said. “Trust us.”

Gage shrugged. “Sure.” He’d believe almost anything right now if it meant getting Rascal back. Since that wasn’t going to happen, tough shit.

Steve turned back around and started the car.

Maybe he was just too dazed, but Gage doubted Chris and Steve knew what they were talking about. They’d never really understand because they hadn’t actually lost each other. Hadn’t been ripped from the scene because family didn’t believe he was gay or seen their partner waste away.

He paid little attention as Steve drove to the apartment. Right now, he wanted to go back to the hospital and be with Rascal. His lover wasn’t in that shell any longer, but that didn’t quell the ache in Gage’s being.

Steve parked on the street. Chris left the vehicle first and Gage followed. Gage wandered up to the apartment. How could he ever go back to his own apartment? Everything there reminded him of Rascal. Once Rascal had been diagnosed with the cancer, he’d moved in with Gage to consolidate homes and save some money.

He stood in the living room of Chris and Steve’s place but wished he could go. King and Randall were there along with Eric and Danny. On one hand, it felt like too many people around, but on the other, this was his adopted family. The chosen ones he called his nearest and dearest. His own parents hadn’t wanted him around because he was gay, and Rascal suffered the same problems. All he and Rascal had were each other and their adopted family.

Lew stepped into the apartment. “Hi.”

God. If one more person showed up, Gage would leave.

Chris and Steve stood behind the sofa, King and Randall waited by the bar and Eric and Danny reclined on the window seat. Gage wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. “Yeah?” Gage asked. “Well?”

He shouldn’t be upset with them, but the despair bled into the rest of his life.
“You should know some things before we go over Randall’s will,” Lew said. “Do you know how Randall, Eric and Steve are here?”

Gage shrugged. “They survived?” Why in the hell was anyone asking him this right now?

“Not exactly,” Chris said and rounded the sofa. “Steve had the gay cancer, remember? Maybe you don’t, but he did. He died and I spent a long time mourning him. It hurt so much.”

He didn’t remember that, but honestly, he hadn’t paid much attention.

“And Eric was killed by a gunshot wound,” Danny said. “I lost him and never thought I’d ever be whole.”

“Obviously he pulled through,” Gage said. If he hadn’t, Eric wouldn’t be sitting there.

“He didn’t,” Danny said. “He died.”

“I see him right there with you.” Gage shook his head. This was ridiculous.

“Randall was attacked at the shelter back at Christmas. He bled out,” King said. “I saw his parents take custody of his body.”

“I don’t believe this. You’re all standing here, so someone lied or you never died.” Gage held up both hands. “Just… stop. Enough. You’re all bullshitting me. What is this?”

“This is where I come in,” Lew said. “I, along with Bob and Darryl at Start Me Up, helped the others, and we helped Rascal.”

“You did?” Gage snorted. “Did you bring them back from the dead? Huh? Did you become a doctor and learn how to reverse the damage from a gunshot wound? Did you figure out how to keep someone from bleeding out? Did you come up with a cure for the gay cancer? Is that how you saved the other guys? Come on.” His voice cracked. “Rascal is gone. There’s nothing you can do to change that. No one can. I lost him -- end of story.”

“It’s not the end of the story,” Lew said. “Trust me.”