Wilde's Fire

The exciting first book of the Darkness Falls series!

Wilde's Army

The second installment of Darkness Falls.

Wilde's Meadow

The conclusion of Katriona and Arland's story.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Frog #TheWritersCollection

Little green frog never bothered anyone
Resting on the side of the house to avoid the midday sun
My children spotted you and squealed in delight
They must have given you quite a fright
Jumping from child to child, you tried to get away
But the tiny hands grabbed you, persistent to play
I warned them to let you go, your capture was unfair
And what do you know, you wound up hiding in my daughter’s hair
Snapping a picture was the only way
To ensure we never forget that day.

To read other author's take on the same subject Frog, go to www.thewriterscollection.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

I'm rocket propelling you guys through the book. Today's excerpt comes from one of the later chapters where Kate's world spirals even further out of her control.

I'm not going to give you a set up . . . I'll leave it all to your imagination.


~ "How could you?" Brad asks, keeping his gaze focused on Arland.

Without a doubt I know Brad is talking to me, but I cannot find the words to respond, cannot find the courage to speak to the guy who’s always been there when I needed him. His question I expected, but this fight I did not.

"When you calm down, she will answer you." Arland’s words ooze with confidence, revealing again why he is a Leader.

A dark look, full of contempt, passes over Brad; he reaches back, preparing to take a swing. ~

Visit Six Sunday for a taste of other great authors! *Disclaimer: Not all sites are appropriate for children under 18*

Friday, January 27, 2012


Ermm...something's wrong with me. Something I can't stop. Something I can't handle. Eeeek! Send help. I have a head cold. I don't do sick well. Not because I want to whine a lot when I'm sick (which I do), but because there are so many other things I want to spend my time on.

Hachoo. (Sorry)

I wanted to make a Friday Funny today . . . I really did, but headaches and exhaustion consumed all my "spare time" for the week. Waaah.

Actually I haven't accomplished much this week at all. Oh well.

Don't worry!! I've already scheduled Six Sunday for your reading pleasure. Maybe the weekend will cure my ailment and I'll be back in full swing next week.

One can only hope. Happy Friday everyone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Blog: Debra Kristi

You may have noticed a trend around here lately . . . or maybe you don't pay attention, but either way, I'm highlighting YA Authors. We just don't get enough love, do we?

Debra Kristi has been a great supporter of mine. I think I may have been her inspiration (or butt kicker) to start her blog. Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit?

She's a great writer, and friend, and I'm happy to have her share a taste of her writing style with us today.

Make sure you leave her lots of comment love, and thanks for stopping by!

Debra: Hello, everyone! It is a pleasure to be here! I know most of you don’t know me from a jar of peanut butter, so let me introduce myself. I’m that girl who writes because the dead girl told her to. Have you heard of her? Well, that crazy one is me. In reality, that dead girl is the inspiration behind a story that has changed my life in more ways than one, and part of the reason I am here before you today.

I have been visiting Krystal’s blog since I took my first little steps onto the writing scene. It’s surreal to be on the other end of it now. When Krystal asked if I would share with her readers a sample of my work, I was delighted! I’ve admired her cozy niche in the blogging community for some time now. Because I absolutely adore Krystal, I have a special treat for everyone. On my blog I have rarely talked about any specifics regarding my book. One exception was back on November 17th when I made mention of a character by the name of Crystia, the sister of my protagonist. This was in a post about my own sister, citing her as a source of inspiration. Today Crystia will stretch her vocal cords and speak for the very first time in her own piece.

Although Crystia is usually a light-hearted, spirited individual, we are catching her at a rather heavy moment in a teen’s life. One that most will relate to. Now, without further ado, I give to you Crystia.

“Should I stay?” He lingers in the doorway unsure of what to do next. It’s obvious he wants to bolt. I don’t blame him. Things didn’t turn out as expected. Yet he hovers out of fear of what I might say at school tomorrow.

“No. Just go. I’ll catch you later. You can see yourself out, can’t you?” I wiggle into a more comfortable sitting position on the bed, pulling the covers tighter around me as he tugs his gray Henley t-shirt over his head.

“Yeah, sure.” He disappears down the hall only to reappear a second later. “Crystia?”

“What is it, Chris?” I try not to sound exasperated. He should already be out the front door.

“Was that okay? Are we okay?” He looks at me from across the room with worry set deep in his dark brown eyes.

I watch as he nervously runs his hand through his dirty blond hair and studies the scene of the crime – my bed. The place where he just stole my virginity.

“It’s fine, Chris. I’ll see you tomorrow. At school.” I wait for him to go, but he continues to linger. “Goodbye, Chris.”

“Yeah. Later.”

His footsteps retreat down the hall, across the house and out the door. Relief. He’s gone. That wasn’t what I thought it would be. I mean, yeah, they say the first time never is. But it was more than that. I wasn’t into him like I thought I would be - should be. I felt no desire. It was more like I owed it to him after tying him up in a relationship for so long. Now I question if I even like him. Worse yet, if I even like boys. Sigh. I feel so contaminated – grossed out.

Grabbing my robe from the hook on my bedroom door, I head straight for a hot shower. I feel a serious need to wash away all man stank. I could stay in the shower forever, letting the hot water turn me into flimsy noodle, but eventually my sister, Ana, will return home with family friend, Ryland, in tow. I smile inwardly. She should totally jump on him and stop fooling herself. He is HOT. And apparently into all the same over-the-top stuff she’s into. Maybe I should play matchmaker. Ha!

Stepping out of the tub, I stand in the steam of the bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror. Do I look older now that I am a woman? Tilting my head from side to side, my bleached blonde hair still mats in a wet mess as usual, my skin and body – well – I can’t see any changes. Still too skinny and lacking in curve. Wait. Leaning closer to the mirror, I examine my eyes more closely. Nah, false alarm. For a second I thought they were favoring one color more than another. Oh well. Pulling open the medicine cabinet I grab my contact lenses from the top shelf. Now they’ll be one color.

Back in my room I throw on some clothes and snap my crystal wristband in place as the phone begins to ring. Odd, was it my imagination or did the crystal just glow? I’ll have to ask Ana about that since that’s her thing. Speaking of… Ana’s name displays on the caller ID. My chest weighs heavily as I consider confiding in her about Chris and everything I’m feeling. But before I pick up the phone I know I’ll chicken out. How can she relate? All she ever does is make-out and who knows what else with some guy in her dreams. She hasn’t had a successful real date in ages. If anything, she hides behind Ry. Aren’t we a great pair of sisters? Clearly we have issues. I’ll probably just talk to Caesar about it tonight.

“Hey,” I say into the phone, trying to sound completely cool. “What’s up?”

I’m greeted by the sounds of crackles and static when Ana’s voice pops through the low noise. “Sorry. We are just getting back into town now. You know how it is along the desert roads - reception sucks.”

“Yep,” I answer shortly.

“Ry and I are swinging by the flower shop to take mom some grub. Would you like anything?”

“No, but thanks for asking. I have to work tonight.” I glance at the clock and a mild wave of panic runs through me. “I really need to get going actually. I’m running late.”

“For the cat house? What are they going to do, fire you?” she says half seriously. “You’re a volunteer.”

“I know. But I like working with the cats and I don’t want to be late.”

“Won’t it be dark while you’re working if you go in this late? Not sure I like that. We’re not talking about sweet kittens. They have some seriously big cats. Dangerous ones!” Ana is talking, but all I hear is buzzing. I know she means well, but she just doesn’t get it. Doesn’t want to get it. Not yet anyway. She’s resisting the truth.

“I’m perfectly aware of how big the cats are at the conservatory. Don’t worry about me, sis. I know how to handle them.” I shut off the phone before Ana has a chance to respond. I need to get going. I have a date with a Caesar, a beautiful white Siberian tiger. We have a lot to talk about.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Crystia and a glimpse at her rather personal backstory. You even got a tiny glimpse at my protagonist through Crystia’s eyes. I want to thank you all for allowing me to share this special moment with you. And a very special thank you to Krystal for the invitation.


I definitely thank you, Debra. I'm honored you chose to share something so wonderful with me and my readers. With writing like that, your book is SURE to be a hit. I can't wait to read more! Especially about those tigers.

Debra Kristi lives with her husband, two kids and a frog named Darth. She is currently working on her first YA fantasy. It’s a trilogy (currently unnamed) about a young girl coming into her own while trying to find herself and overcome a great personal loss. To get to know more about the author, stop in and visit her blog .

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heaven and Hell #TheWritersCollection

My parents said Heaven could be found on Earth, but they were wrong. Earth is Hell with only occasional glimpses of Heaven. Every day people suffer. Homelessness, murder, starvation—these are some of this world’s problems, and there is no end in sight. Yet when my family travels to the tops of the mountains, hikes through the lush forests, and swims in the beautiful creeks and streams, a little piece of Heaven seems to slice through all the bad.

But I still miss Elysia.

We moved here because our planet could no longer sustain life. The war between Darkness and Light poisoned our waters, stole our sunshine, and killed our food sources. Our god told our people to pray to him, to beg him to stay in control of our world, but the people were afraid. Dughbal was the only god who’d ever tried to remain in control of a world longer than his term.

Mom and Dad didn’t want to stay to see the other gods’ reactions. My parents are familiar with magic, and they knew exactly what to do to open a portal into another land.

Now here we are, and I’m bored.

Sometimes I think we should have remained in Elysia. Sometimes I swear I’m going back. I want to swim with the sprites in waters so blue people here would probably think we’d colored them. I want the pink and white meadow flowers to make me laugh with their silly songs. I want the tall Oaks to hold me in their branches and tell me stories of generations from long ago.

My favorite story was of the god Griandor and how his light shined brighter than all others, and when he’d visit Elysia, every living creature would turn to him, almost reach for him. The trees described Griandor as life embodied.

Earth doesn’t have any of my favorite things. There are trees and meadows and fish and birds, but they aren’t intelligent, and they aren’t friendly. I’m not even sure which god controls this place.

I plan to find my way back to Elysia, but if I fail, I’ll find a way to wake up nature here on Earth, then I can tell my parents they were right after all.

To read other author's take on the subject Heaven and Hell, go to www.thewriterscollection.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Well it's time for another installment of Six Sentence Sunday. This week I'm going to dump a fiery red-head, a hunky hero, and ah . . . um . . . Kate on you.

Arland has just served up two bowls of slop prepared by Flanna with a little help from magic. The food looks terrible, but is surprisingly yummy. And if you read the bit about Kate and Arland going into the washroom together, and how Flanna gave Kate a hard time about that, (See SSS entries here and here ) then you'll know exactly what Kate is talking about here. ;-)



Lowering my voice so Flanna doesn’t overhear, I say, "Oh and I don’t think she’s going to give you hell about the bath."


"She already gave it to me."

"I knew my cousin would not let us off easy." Arland laughs and takes another huge bite of Flanna’s Surprise.

On cue she walks into the dining area, hands up in surrender, eyes big and demure.


If you'd like to read other great Six Sunday authors, click here. *Disclaimer: Not all sites are appropriate for children under 18*

Friday, January 20, 2012

What's In Your Trunk?

Since What’s In Your Purse was such an accidental success, I thought I’d run a few more "What’s In Your ____" and see what we can come up with. I stuff lots of random crap in lots of random places—and apparently my family likes to put their random crap in my bag—so this week I’ve decided to inspect my trunk.

Honestly, I’m glad to say there isn’t much junk in my trunk, but I’ve listed for you what I found.

Please, please share what you find. We don’t judge here, but we will laugh WITH you.

- Dirt (About six months ago my husband and I went to Lowes for some screws, and I spotted a beautiful Ficus tree and just had to have it. So we bought it. Somehow we forgot we’d brought my car, but managed to finagle the deciduous thing into my Jetta anyhow. We also managed to spill its potting soil in my trunk, and the dirt is still there. Sigh.)

- Stroller (My youngest is nineteen months. The stroller is always in my Jetta…even when we travel in the truck. Yep, you guessed it; we always forget to move the stroller from my car to his.)

- A bag of clothes for Goodwill (We have good intentions—I swear—we just forget to make that stop. Today. I’ll do it today.)

So that’s it. YAY. I feel so . . . so happy that I don’t have as much junk in my trunk as I have in my purse.

I expect some amazing responses! Get to it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Success and Failure

I've repeated my catch phrase so many times I'm sure you all have it memorized: mother of three who works fifty miles from home and writes in her "spare time".

But the truth is, as denoted by the quotes, I don't have any spare time. I want to succeed as an author so I make time to write. Whether I'm daydreaming on my commute, chugging out the words during my two fifteen minute breaks and half hour lunch at work, or carting the laptop all around my house with me till eleven or later every evening, you can be sure I'm writing . . . or doing something writing related.

But how long can I treat my body this way? I don't take breaks, and I get very little sleep. After dinner a couple nights ago I crashed on the couch. Very rare for me. For a few weeks now my body has been screaming to take a break, but I've been ignoring it.

I’m so afraid of being a failure I forget my body can fail. I've written two and a half novels in a year, started a successful blog, earned a nice following on Twitter and Facebook, and yet here I am, afraid if I slow down my much needed moment of rest will somehow mark the beginning of the end for me.


Writing out my successes makes worrying about failure seem silly, but in this fast paced world it seems if we take any time off we get left behind.

I don’t want to be left behind, but I also don’t want to be wearing two nasty black bags under my eyes if Good Morning America ever calls me up for an interview.

So what do I do? How do I find balance again? How can I manage to be successful at my day job, at parenting, at being a wife, at writing, at taking over the world all while managing to get adequate rest?

That was a rhetorical question . . . don’t try to answer it because I don’t think there is really any right answer, but my answer is this: SOMEHOW!

Because I want to be successful as a mother, as a wife, and as a writer, I will do whatever it takes. If it means staying up late every day for a year while pumping out two kick ass novels (at least in my opinion) then that’s what I’ll do. If it means falling over practically dead on the couch and sleeping twelve hours straight to catch up on sleep then that’s what I’ll do. If it means taking a week or two off here and there to spend time with my kids and husband while forgetting about the writing world for awhile then that’s what I’ll do.

I need to listen to my body, listen to my family, and I have to stop being afraid of failing because I’ve already found success.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time #TheWritersCollection

I've been invited to be a part of The Writer's Collection. Each week they suggest a theme and then authors of different genres put their spin on it. This is the first week I've been involved. I wrote this up as a flash fiction piece (something I put together rather quickly). If you'd like to check out how the other authors spun "Once Upon A Time", please head on over to The Writers Collection website and check them out.


My grandmother lies in her hospital bed, machines and wires hooked in places that make me cringe, fighting for her life. Watching her struggle for each breath, wheezing and gasping even with the aid of oxygen, makes me burn inside.

I reach for her hand then squeeze her cold fingers between mine, rubbing skin so thin with my thumb I’m afraid I’ll hurt her.

Grandma’s eyes flutter open and she smiles.

My mother and father jump out of their chairs and stand behind me, each placing a sweaty palm on my shoulder.

“Mom?” Dad asks, voice shaking in a way no daughter should ever hear from her father.

But Grandma doesn’t look away from me; she holds my gaze, her eyes pale blue and determined. “Do you . . . .” With her free hand, she slowly reaches for the mask covering her mouth, but doesn’t have the strength to remove the elastic bands.

“Here, let me help you,” Mom says, stepping beside me.

“I’ve got it, Mom.” I stand and help Grandma take off her mask.

Mom shouldn’t have to do any more; Dad’s been a wreck and she needs to worry about him.

“Tha—” Grandma coughs, chest rattling with whatever fluid is invading her lungs. “Thank you.”

Tears roll down my cheeks and drip from my chin as I return to my uncomfortable blue chair next to her bed. Grandma’s the strongest, most caring woman I know, and the doctors said she’d be lucky to survive the night.

Cancer is a bitch.

“Do you need a drink, Grandma?” I ask.

Dad sits on the foot of the bed and drops his bright-red face into his hands.

Mom rolls Grandma’s hospital tray toward her then stares at my father, her face as white as Grandma’s bed sheets. Dad has always been so strong, just like Grandma, always taken care of us, told us everything will be okay, we’d always be together, we’d always have our family. Now part of his family is dying, part of his foundation, his root, his childhood.

Grandma tugs at my arm with the strength of a young child. “Do you remember that story I liked to tell you when you were little?”

Turning back toward her, I nod.

“Will you tell it to me now?”

I stare out the window, out toward the shining sun, the cars driving eighty-miles per hour on the highway, watch a flock of black birds soar through the deep-blue sky, then take a shallow breath. “Once upon a time there was a young girl who loved a young man—”

My father chokes and runs out the door, releasing a howl of agony once he’s in the hall. Whispers drift into the room. Mom tells Dad to be strong for me, for Grandma, but all I hear from him in response are wails.

Words catch in my throat, my face burns, and my hands sweat. My father hates this story, but to see him react that way . . . .

“Be more courageous than your father, Helen. My life has been fulfilling, and I do not fear death.” Grandma closes her eyes and wheezes.

If it weren’t for the sounds she’s making I’d swear she’s already dead and in her coffin. Grandma’s white hair is messed up around her face, and her deep-set wrinkles do little to hide the dark blue veins under her thin veil of skin. “You don’t have to tell me the rest; the fact you remember means everything to me. You see, this is my story, Helen. I’ve been sharing it with you all these years so you would know a thing or two about your family’s history, so when you have children of your own you can share it with them, or share your own story with them.”

I gasp. “You’re the girl who fell in love with the young man in the farm field? You stole clothes and bandages from your parents to give to him? You’re the one who broke your foot chasing a chicken and was helped by the same young man five years later?”

Grandma smiles again, keeping her eyes closed. “Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Your father didn’t want me to fill your head with love stories, but he’ll have a few things to tell his grandchildren someday, and so will you. I love you, Helen—”

The machines beep, a speaker announces code blue, echoing all around the sterile room. I look at Grandma, her mouth open and eyes wide, then burst into tears.

“Grandma! Someone help. Please, help her.”

A crowd of nurses rush into the room and push me toward the door. My mother and father appear beside me and wrap their arms around my shoulders.

Grandma’s gone and she’s not coming back. I don’t need a team of doctors and nurses to tell me that. Rushing from the room, I bolt for the exit. I don’t know where I’m going or how I’ll get there, but there’s one thing I’ll always remember: Grandma’s story. One day whether I’m telling my children or grandchildren, the story will always start: Once Upon A Time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Did someone hit fast forward? I swear this week flew by. Maybe that's because I had to write this on Monday. ;-)

Last week I introduced you all to Flanna, my fiery red-head. Not only is she my favorite character to write, but she is one of my beta reader's favorite characters to read.

This week I'm going to give you Kate's reaction to Flanna's comments.


~Pulling a chair out at the closest table, I sit down and put my face in my hands. My legs bounce; my palms sweat. I’m messing up Arland’s relationship with his people. They cannot lose respect for him. I need to focus on what’s important. Getting help for Brad.~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funny

This has been a fantastic week, and the weekend is only going to be better!

Today I'm sharing a strip I created based off yesterday's What's In Your Purse post. I loved all the responses you submitted and hope more keep coming in! I've also included a teaser line from soon-to-be-released Wilde's Fire after the funny (keep your eye out for promotions and announcements!).


This excerpt from Wilde's Fire is an exchange between Kate and her sister:

I push a stray lock of hair from her [Brit's] tear-streaked face. “Once you accept we belong here, it will all get easier.”

She throws herself back on the pile of blankets and looks up at me with a wry smile. “That’s easy for you to say with tall, dark and handsome gushing over you.”


Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's In Your Purse?

My lips are always in desperate need of gloss during the winter. I keep a stash of balms in my purse, so a little while ago I grabbed my bag and rooted around the pockets, but didn’t immediately find what I needed.

Instead, these are the things I found:

- A medal for Kid #2 finishing the one-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day – (She was soo cute and proud of herself when she crossed the finish line!)

- A Wrigley’s wrapper with a stale, half piece of never chewed gum – (Eww.)

- Receipts, gobs of them – (Another sign we spend too much money!)

- An unused Long John Silvers toy – (Do we even eat there??)

- Five binkies - (Pacifiers for those of you not in the know.)

- Bills – (Can I just burn those???)

- Checkbook – (Yes, I still carry one.)

- Wallet – (I’m only posting this so you know I use my purse for one of its true purposes!)

- One of Kid #3’s socks – (Why only one I have no idea!)

- Two of Kid #3’s headbands – (I feel like the Count on Sesame Street.)

- Three of Kid #3’s hair clips – (Or maybe the owl from the Tootsie Roll commercials . . . One, Two, Three: Three licks to the center of the tootsie roll pop.)

- Lip gloss – (HEY! I FOUND IT!!!)

- A plastic beaded necklace – (No, not from Mardis Gras. Just another one of Kid #2’s additions to my purse.)

- Rings inside of balls bought from the bowling alley’s toy machine – (What can I say, the kids love that crap, but it always winds up in my bag.)

- An uneaten and very smushed Gerber’s Graduates bar – (Anyone hungry??)

- Crayons – (These I actually put in there. I take them from restaurants and then give them to my kids when we’re somewhere and they’re bored.)

- Hair ties – (A combo of Kid #2 and Kid #3. Sigh.)

- A screw – (That’s from the hubby.)

- A paperclip – (No idea.)

- Princess Pencil – (It’s possible I put this in my purse as “decorative” pencils are all we have in our house.)

- Racecar pencil – (Ditto.)

- Balloons – (Erm . . . not sure where they came from.)

Finding all these crazy items had me scratching my head and wondering if this purse I carry around with me everywhere really belongs to me. All the odd contents certainly explain why my bag is so heavy.

So what’s in your purse??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Blog: Raine Thomas

I was so excited when Raine agreed to write a guest post for me. For months I've been drooling over the covers of the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy, Raine's YA Fantasy/Romance novels. We've been chatting back and forth, constantly interrupted by our "real" lives, for awhile and now she's here, on my blog, sharing a never-before-seen excerpt from her soon to be released novel, Defy.

What could be better than that?


I'll stop rambling and hand this space over to Raine now. Enjoy!

Hello, all. I’m Raine Thomas, a young adult fantasy/romance author and a big fan of Krystal’s blog and her writing in general. It’s a delight to meet you!

*looks around* *nods*

Yep. I can definitely get comfortable here…

I’ll admit that there’s a certain pressure when thinking of guest blog topics. I’ve done my fair share of them, and every time, I find myself tapping my chin in search of The. Perfect. Topic. Much like when I’m writing a book, I never know when inspiration will strike.

Tonight, it struck while I was walking my dog, Poe. I live about seven miles from Walt Disney World, and I can see the fireworks above Cinderella’s Castle from my house. I decided to use my time walking Poe to clear my head and watch the fireworks.

And suddenly—BAM! I knew what blog topic to write.

Fireworks. When considering them in a figurative way, fireworks are essential to telling an effective story. Let’s break down the “firework” aspects of writing to clarify this point. To tell a good, driving (fiction) story, you need the element of surprise, bursts of intense action, attention-grabbing brilliance and a spectacular finale.

Huh. The firework thing kinda makes sense now, doesn’t it?

When writing romance, the “fireworks” in the story take on a slightly different, but no less significant, meaning. In particular, the fireworks in romantic fiction center on the chemistry between the main characters. What good would a romance story be if the couple’s relationship didn’t result in fireworks, after all?

Now, because I write young adult fantasy/romance, I have to balance the “fireworks “with age-appropriateness. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it totally depends upon who you ask.

My target audience is high school age and up. My characters interact in romantic and sometimes sensual ways because I believe that love, in part, involves physical connection. Besides, we all know that teens explore romance and intimacy, so pretending otherwise is rather silly. And that brings me right back to fireworks and their importance in writing.

As a way to further illustrate my point, I’d like to share a previously unreleased sample from Defy, book one in the upcoming Firstborn trilogy about the Estilorians. Warning: this is a love scene that involves some rather “loud” fireworks:

“His hands remained on her shoulders in a firm clasp. She had instinctively reached up and grasped his upper arms when he grabbed her, and she felt the hard muscle of his biceps beneath her hands. Because he was bent over her and his mouth was so close to hers, the memory of her attempted kiss flashed through her head. She had the unavoidable and mortifying thought that she wished he hadn’t stopped her.
She watched his expression change as they continued to stand there staring at each other.

“When you want to kiss someone,” he said, making her realize she had been speaking her thoughts again, “don’t talk it to damn death.”

And then he pulled her against him and captured her mouth with his.

He didn’t kiss her. No, that was far too sedate a term for it. He
claimed her.
This was no gentle brushing of lips against lips. This was an undiluted assault of the senses. This was lips and tongue and heat and urgent, roaming hands. This was erratic breathing, bodies pressed together, skin touching skin, bursts of unbelievable and unexpected pleasure. This was beyond her wildest imaginings.”

Does this scene push the envelope regarding what’s appropriate in young adult fiction, considering my target audience is teens and up? Perhaps. I certainly welcome your thoughts on that.

It’s not a sex scene. What it is, rather, is a passionate kiss that finally brings to bear all of the simmering feelings the two characters have developed for each other throughout the book. If there’s one thing that disappoints me in a book, it’s having all of the build-up without a satisfying conclusion.

In firework terms, that’s like firing a dud. Thus, I do my best to avoid that in my writing. I’m curious what things you as readers and/or writers consider a “dud” in a story. I hope you’ll let me know!

Wow. Who would’ve thought that my nightly venture out the front door would lead to this point? It just goes to show you that every day is an adventure, and we never know exactly where it will take us.

Thanks so much for joining me on this mental journey and indulging my extended metaphor. And thank you again, Krystal, for having me. I’ll leave you all now with the hope that your own journeys today are full of inspiring fireworks!


I don't think that scene was too much at all. Teens are not immune to emotions! Quite the opposite, they seem to be too emotional.

So folks, if you liked Raine's excerpt, check out her current novels. You'll devour them!

Becoming -- Central -- Foretold

You can find more out about the author at her website: http://rainethomas.com/

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do You Makeup?

I’m not a fan of waking up early every morning to stand in front of the mirror, painting an artificial beauty on my face. There are things in life I would much rather spend my time on . . . like sleep. As a mother of three, a full time employee at a job far away from home, and a writer, sleep is not something I get much of.

I’ve convinced myself my natural appearance is the real me, the me I should be showing the world because it’s the me I was born with, but I cannot deny how makeup makes me feel when I do decide to wear it.

Somehow the lotions and powders smooth my skin, erase the dark circles around my eyes, and make me look younger. (I know, I know, I’m not that old.) All of this gives me more confidence to hold my head high when I walk out of my house and go wherever it is I’m going on that occasional makeup wearing day.

But then a new problem arises: removal.

I can never seem to buy the right chemicals to remove the other chemicals from my cheeks, nose, chin, eyes, etc. So frustrating. The morning after I’ve dolled myself up, I peek in the mirror and look like a goth or emo having a bad day. (Not that there’s anything wrong with goth or emo.)

Most of the crap easily comes off, but it’s the stuff around the eyes that annoys me. So what do I do? I slap on more makeup because it’s easier to cover up the old stuff than wash it off.

The whole process turns into a vicious cycle, making me spend more money on more products and the owners of Bare Minerals that much richer.

Until I say enough and quit makeup cold turkey. Who cares if I go back to looking tired and pale? I get more sleep, spend less time shopping for Waterproof or Long-Lasting products, and I’m showing the world the real me, the me my husband and children love, the me that exists when I don’t care what anyone thinks.

That should be the me I show the world anyway. Anything else is a lie.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Time for another round of Six Sentence Sunday. Woohoo. Last week you all got a taste of Kate and Arland, and this week I want you to meet Flanna. She's my fiery red-head, and I LOVE her. She may be my favorite character to write.


~For Arland's sake I don't want anyone to read more into us than they need to.

"You are no fun." Flanna abandons me to stir some sort of slop over the fire.

"We just talked."

She flashes a grin over her shoulder. "Call it what you will, but I saw you go into the wash room together."~

To read other Six Sunday greatness, click here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Funny

This week has been crazy busy and I didn't have the time--or energy--to create a cute comic strip. But what I have stumbled upon--no, not the social media site--thanks to the lovely Carol Clarke (@cagssoc on Twitter), is this hysterical YouTube video that captures the essence of my blog post from yesterday. (What Girls Want)

Hope you enjoy, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Girls Want

On New Year’s Eve I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time around a few teenagers. I love kids, especially when they talk to one another, but that night provided me with scary insight as to What Girls Want. Not necessarily from guys—sorry for anyone who came here thinking I have all the answers—but from themselves and from other women.

As the epic countdown to the end of the world 2012 neared, someone turned on the big screen tv and flipped through different channels, trying to discover the most entertaining program to watch. Since the high school seniors had control over the remote, the channel changed frequently.

Lady Gaga, Will.i.am, LMFAO, Fergie, some chick who used to be a Disney girl . . . these are just a few I remember—no old jokes, k?—who graced the screen. What I found interesting is how the girls at this small gathering tore apart the beautiful women.

“What did Fergie do to her hair?” asked one teen with a sour face.

“It’s white . . . to match her dress,” replied another.

“She looks awful.”

I sat there, mouth hanging open, in utter outrage. Not at these teenage girls, but at society. WHAT THE HELL?? While Fergie may not be able to sing any better than me, she certainly didn’t look hideous on New Year’s Eve, definitely no more hideous than the strange act that was LMFAO.

But these girls didn’t reduce any of the men down; they only reduced this beautiful, successful, woman to nothing. I’m not claiming Fergie is perfect, but when it comes to women, the only thing that seems to matter any more is beauty.

Why? I hope someone can answer this for me, bring me into the “know” before I lose my temper.

Not every woman in the spotlight deserves to be a role model, but instead of looking at the way they act, we look at their appearance. It didn’t matter that the men of LMFAO wore pants too tight for them, hanging off their asses like a bunch of idiots—and yes, I get the clothing is all a part of their act, but still—or that their hair was ridiculously styled or they wore 1980’s sunglasses without the lenses, bedazzled glasses at that.

I’m not 100% innocent, but I make an effort not to tear women down—it’s really hard when the likes of Lady Gaga appear with strange outfits and horrible dance moves; although she can sing. Aren’t we all equals? Why do women have to be gorgeous, knockout beauties with talent well beyond all others, just to be considered less valuable than weird men who act nothing like a man should act?

The women of this young generation and every generation after will have to work harder to compete in the workforce, will HAVE to go to college and earn a degree at the top of their class, will have to fight for every opportunity to succeed. We should encourage one another, applaud our achievements, smile at the successes of others, because one day, if we try hard enough, that person in the spotlight could be us.

Wouldn’t you prefer to know all the other women were cheering you on instead of spitting at your feet and casting you aside?

I challenge all my young readers to look for beauty other than on people’s faces, look for beauty in their hearts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


A year ago my husband and I made a crazy—but wonderful—decision to build a house. We’d lived in our previous home for six years and everything was tailored to our likes. Pretty colors painted on the walls. Beautiful hardwoods in the family room. Furniture hand-selected by the two of us to go in every room. But we desired more space to spread out games on the floor to play with our children, more space in the yard to run around, more trees between us and our neighbors. We wanted land.

So we bought it.

Living in this house has been wonderful, but it doesn’t have pretty paint on the walls, and we certainly didn’t have enough furniture to fill the place. When you build a new home, they suggest you wait a year before painting. Something about nail pops and settlement cracks.

Who knew?

Well, technically I did know, but I didn’t realize living a year without color would make me feel BLAH.

Before Christmas my hubs asked me what I wanted, and I smiled and answered, “Backsplash.”

Yes, folks, my poor kitchen walls were the most painted in the whole house. Food, water—whatever—splashed and speckled the white walls. I wanted warmth, color . . . life, not chicken, pasta sauce, or anything else.

He laughed. There was no way Santa could creep down the chimney with care while carrying hundreds of pounds worth of natural stone, grout, caulk, etc. He’d make a huge mess.

So I filed my desire away for the next time the hubs asked what I wanted, but not for long. This past Friday he measured the kitchen, whipped out his “How to Tile” book, made plans, lists, and said, “Let’s go to Home Depot.”


We hit the road with smiles on our faces and ideas of grandeur in our heads. Three hours later we were the proud owners of lots of building materials and two very cranky daughters. A trip to McDonalds quieted their cries and my husband and I were free to start our DIY project—we just had to take down the Christmas lights first. Luckily what goes up usually comes down much quicker!

I won’t go into the gory details of how painstaking our kitchen project was, about how we worked tirelessly for hours and hours, measuring tiles, cutting tiles, cursing tiles, or about how the mastic adhesive fumes burned my nose, made my head hurt, and stuck to my fingers. You don’t really need to know how messy the muddy remnants from the wet saw made our driveway, our hands, the garage door, our clothes, and our faces. I’d tell you about how grout really hurt our skin when we realized it was easier to use our hands than that grout applicator thingy, but eh—how about I just show you the before and after pictures and let you decide how much work we put into it?!


Now we still have to replace the outlet covers, but whatever, I’m labeling this project as finished!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teaser with a Tune

Today is Kid #2's 5th birthday. She couldn't be more thrilled. Somehow she thinks she'll be riding on the bus and going to school with the rest of the kids starting . . . um . . . today. For a while we've been trying to explain she won't be going to school until the fall, but she's just not catching on. Anyway, enjoy the teaser, I'll be planning the surprise party she's been asking for. :-)

Listen to this while reading the teaser:


There’s so much I want, but is it really that much to ask? I want the life I was beginning to have. I want family, friends . . . this is all a dream, it’s just a dream and I’m going to wake up any moment. None of this is real. I smack my face, hoping to snap out of this, to open my eyes and be in my dorm room at Virginia Tech, or to open my eyes and see the stars Brad and I put on my ceiling all those years ago. Again and again I bring my palm to my cheek, pinch my hand, punch my thigh, but I’m still trapped in this dreadful place, still sitting atop a beautiful horse, still face to face with a man I don’t want to be face to face with, no matter how far we’ve come.

“Katriona,” Perth says, wrapping his bony fingers around my wrist.

I jerk away from him and punch my thigh again.

“Kate! You are in shock. Let me take you to The Meadows. The giants said the town is clear; we can go to Arland’s childhood home, assuming it is still standing.”

Arland’s childhood home. It may smell like him, may have something that I can touch and feel, something I can hold onto while I cry. “Okay.”

“Hand me her reins,” Perth says, holding out his hand.

“What? Why?”

“In case you change your mind before we arrive.” He opens and closes his palm, demanding the leather straps.

I sigh. “Here.”

Digging his feet into Luatha’s sides, Perth leads Mirain, and Bowen follows.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

2012 . . . Can you believe it? I'm in shock. I feel like 2011 just started.


This is going to be an excellent year though! Wilde's Fire will be published, and maybe even the second and third books in that trilogy, too. Anyway, I've missed all my fantastic Six Sunday visitors. Hopefully I've provided you with six entertaining lines!


~“Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” I ask.

“Only my mother, when I was a child,” Arland says, looking down at the water.

Moving to the other side of the enclosure, I sit next to him. “Well now I have, too.”

Arland puts his arm around my shoulders, eases my head onto his chest and caresses my back with the tips of his fingers. His heart thuds rapidly. ~

To read other amazing Six Sentence goodness, click here.

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