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 28, 2013

Young Adult Hop

I've decided to take part in one of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's giveaway blog hops.

So, if you'd like an opportunity to win a signed copy of Wilde's Fire, enter the rafflecopter below.

Good luck!

Wilde's Fire Blurb:

"There is no pain in this death, only peace, knowing I am going to die with the one I love the most." - Katriona Wilde.

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she's ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out. When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she's dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate's forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her. What's worse, she has no control over her new future, and it's full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made. Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest

Thanks to Susie Levine for spotting Wilde's Fire on Stephen Tremp's blog (thanks to you, too, Stephen!), I'm now participating in this amazing blogfest.

I'm supposed to tell you a bit about myself. I don't like talking about myself, really, but here goes:

I'm 28 (4 times over), am married, have three amazing children, and own a whole herd of pets. My real name is not Krystal Wade. I may as well tell you all that it's Krystal Dehaba. Wooo. Big secret. Honestly, my biggest regret in my writing career has been to take on a pen name. Mostly because I feel like I lost me when I took it on. Now that we have THAT out of the way . . .

I am a political account jack-of-all-trades by day and mother, wife, and writer by night. Meaning no insult to my day job, I prefer the mother/wife/writer. I'd love that to be full time, but alas, it has yet to pay . . . well. I live in the culturally and historically rich state of Virginia and have been here since 1997. Before, I lived in a place that shall-not-be-named. Long-time readers of my blog can probably figure that out.

Speaking of the blog, I quite honestly don't know what mine is about anymore. I started it to share pieces of me with the world. I wrote a lot of short stories about my childhood, a lot of current stories from my every day life, and a bunch of flash fiction. Then I did a shameful amount of self-promotion. Then I did a lot of nothing. Then I shared the promotional love. Now, I mostly just post about my kids or things I've done with my family over the weekend.

I miss my flash fiction. People seemed to like it. Maybe I'll do some more of that in 2013. Or maybe I'll try to write more books.

By the way, I've written three (SELF-PROMO!!). But this year I'm really struggling to write. I've always enjoyed allowing my creative side to roam into blue fields of tan butterflies (???), but there is a story I need to write that's making me question what kind of writer I really want to be. Do I want to continue with fiction? Or do I write the very real, very painful story of my teenager years as a piece of fiction for the world to see? What do I want the world to learn from Krystal Wade--err, Dehaba?!

What does the world want from me?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

18 Things #newrelease #ya #fantasy

Well, it's that time again. One of my favorite people's book releases today. I met Jamie Ayres last year during a contest I judged. By the end of her first chapter, I broke down into tears. Not many authors can claim they had ME crying that soon. Actually, I don't think any can--except Jamie. She captured the emotions of grief beautifully.

So of course Jamie won this contest--along with a few others--and she was offered a contract for publication. Honestly, I didn't think she was going to take it. When she did, I hemmed and hawed over whether I wanted to edit her work. I may have even assigned it to someone else and then stolen it back from that person.

Well, I should stop rambling and allow you to read what part of Jamie is in her main character Olga.

Take it away, Jamie!

What part of me is in Olga?

Hmm, this was a fun question for me and one that truthfully, I never really gave much thought!

Obviously, anyone who knows us would say we both drink an insane amount of coffee. The Keurig machine hubs bought me for Christmas may just be the death of me . . . which leads me to the fact that just like Olga, I don’t sleep much. On average, I’d say I get 4.5 hours a night. And nooo, I don’t take naps (I just make more coffee when I get home)!

On a more serious note, I’d also say love doesn’t come easy to us. I always had a steady stream of boyfriends from sixth grade on, always looking for what love really was and finding disappointment instead. On August 17, 1997, I finally met the man who showed me what love is . . . Jesus!

This is another way we’re alike. We’re Christians, and vulnerability, discipline (okay, not where the coffee is concerned . . . or the cupcakes) and peacemaking come with the territory. That doesn’t mean we’re overly religious, or that every doctrine mentioned in the book is true. That’s why 18 Things will be shelved in the fiction section! We’re not trying to preach to anybody, but we do hope the novel will inspire teens (and anyone else reading it) to live the life they were created for.

Lastly, to conclude my five paragraph essay (heeheehee—sorry, it’s the teacher in me), we’re geeks. I don’t know if I was necessarily a geek in high school, but my husband converted me. You can thank him for all the Star Wars references in my book.


About the Author: Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches very young adults as a public school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She lives in southwest Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She spent her youthful summers in Grand Haven, Michigan and this setting provided the inspiration for her debut novel, 18 Things. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she's thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. Visit her website at www.jamieayres.com.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

You Can Run, But Not Hide #sixsunday

It's Sunday already? Wow. This week flew by. For those who read my post about Arizona, I really appreciate your e-mails, comments, and such. My poor puppy has a liver infection and is on meds, but he's doing much better.

Since I made a mid-week post about Shattered Secrets, I'm going to pick up this week's Six Sunday from there . . . or shortly after.

Click here to read that teaser!

Now that she's out of the car and her kidnapper is urging her toward his shack in the woods, Abigail is ready to put up a fight. Wouldn't you be?


~Going in wasn't an option. I couldn't. He was deranged. He claimed I had a true family and that he'd been looking for me for a long time. I shook my head, took one more look at the house, then turned and ran for the cornfield.
"You won't make it far, and I don't plan to hurt you," he shouted.~

Hmm. What do you think "Boredas" meant by that? I would certainly run my ass off, and probably not make it far because I'm old and slow, but I'd try to get away!

As always, I love your comments and thank you for stopping in. Make sure to visit other Six Sundayers!


Wilde's Fire            -           Wilde's Army              -            Wilde's Meadow

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January Black #fantasy #newrelease

I love when my friends release books! Helping with promotions is always so exciting! Wendy Russo and I met via Twitter? Facebook? Blogging? Six Sunday? I honestly don't remember. But we hit it off.

While she was reading Wilde's Fire, I was biting my nails waiting to hear what she thought. She liked it--good thing, too, because that would have been awkward--and now I can't wait to read and LOVE her book.

Let me tell you a bit about it! Or I'll let her.

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.

Because Wendy is so awesome, she's even shared an excerpt with us today. Enjoy! (Keep your eyes open for a hidden link to a second excerpt. When you find it, the password is "matty".)

While walking south on Main Street, Matty and Iris traded shopping bags. She cocked her head sideways while looking at the cover of the book he bought her.

“Black Sheep,” she read aloud thoughtfully. “Alice Glass. Why do I know that name?”

“She wrote the novel that ‘Marker’ is based on,” he replied, referring to a SteerNet serial about to be cancelled in its first season.

“Ugh,” she said, dropping her hand. The book slapped her leg. “That show is horrible.”

“Agreed, but never mind that. ‘Black Sheep’ is by far her best work.”

“I’ll give it a try,” Iris said. “Take a look in yours.”

He pulled the small paperback out his. Peter Oldham was his mother’s favorite historical fiction author. Matty recognized “Drops in August” as soon as the corner of the cover cleared the paper sleeve. He bit his tongue to keep from groaning.

“Oh, God,” she said, likely in reaction to the cringe he failed to hold back. “Maybe this was a bad idea.”

Thinking of his mother, and her repeated suggestions that he read the book, Matty’s initial disappointment dissipated. “No, this is good,” he told Iris.

“That’s not what your face says.” She reached for the book.

“Oh, no!” He shook his head and moved his hand out of her reach. “This will do very nicely.”

“Nicely? For what?” She crossed in front of him and walked backward, reaching for the book as he whipped his hand up and behind his head.

“For a joke on my parents.”

She stopped cold in her tracks. He planted his feet so that he wouldn’t run into her, but his momentum carried him forward anyway. She put her hands forward to stop him from falling, but when he hit them, she lost her footing and stumbled backwards. He lunged forward and caught her in his arms.

When he regained his balance and stopped her fall, she was shocked, breathless, and completely supported in his arms at a sharp angle to the ground. People around them on the sidewalk applauded.

One man who passed them said, “Nice catch, kid!”

Matty stepped back and brought her to her feet. She seemed to be searching his eyes for something.

Finally, she asked, “Are you a brat, Matty?”

“Depends.” He felt as if he would shake apart if he let her go. “Do you like brats?” As her lips pulled into a smile from ear to ear, she touched her forehead to his collarbone. A few moments later, she looked back up at him and squirmed just slightly. He let her shrug him off, and when her arms were free, she slapped his cheek playfully before skipping south on the sidewalk. All of his internal organs melted into his legs. About ten steps later, she turned around.

“Are you coming?” she yelled.

Matty shook off his daze and ran to catch up with her.

~ I want to read the book. How about you?

Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialogue that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

I returned to my desk, ready to grab my stuff and run out the door, and found four missed calls from home.

Ethan. What could be so important he needed to call four times?

I tapped the screen, picked up my purse, then headed for the door.


"What's up, buddy?"

"Oh, Arizona peed in his crate. I think he's sick or something."

Crap. Not a good sign. Maybe the cancer is spreading. Maybe he's mad at us. Maybe Ethan just didn't leave him out long enough this morning because it was raining. All these thoughts ran through my head, a heavy weight pressing my chest. I tend to think the worst, and my kids aren't ready to lose their dog. Not yet. Not so soon after Zoe passed away.

"Well, just put him outside and clean it up."

"I can't put him outside. It's raining."

"Leave him in the dog room so he doesn't get the house soaked and dirty. I'll clean him up when I get home." I sighed. "Thank you, buddy."


I walked into the house, on the verge of tears. Maybe I'm not ready for Arizona to die. Maybe I'm not capable of hearing the vet say his cancer is worse. "How's Zona?"

Ethan paled. "I'll go check on him."

My husband was cooking dinner, busying himself with things. Arizona is his dog, his baby, and seeing him sick this soon after the extensive surgeries over the summer . . . .

"I'm going to change." I darted up the stairs, stripped off my clothes, put on some comfy-domfies—as the girls and I like to call them—then made my way back to the family room.

Ethan returned from the basement. "He peed again."

My husband turned around, the fear of what this indicated clearly written in his expression, eyes wide and intense, mouth slightly open. "Are you sure it's pee? It is raining a lot. Or maybe he dumped his water. Did he dump his water?"

"I'll go check." I made my way to the basement and cleaned up the urine. The dog and I had a conversation. He looked kind of nervous as he paced around the room, head down, claws clicking on the cold concrete. "Don't be sick. Okay?"


Ethan sat on the couch, reading a book about different dog breeds. Every few minutes, he'd point to a picture of one and say something about how that could make a great next dog. He already assumes Arizona is going to die.

Our beautiful husky, still missing fur on his back from the tumor removal in July, paced about the room. Something he usually does, but not as long. Most days he'll just walk around the kitchen table, through the family room, in front of the smaller sofa, spin in a couple circles, then curl into a ball on the carpet. Last night, he paced through the entire kitchen, through the family room, around the table, in front of the sofas, through the kitchen again . . . he never stopped.

"Do you need to go outside?" I asked.

His ears perked, and he headed toward the gate. Ethan got up and let him out, then a few minutes later back in—still raining.

The pacing didn't stop. We made a routine of this—pacing, go outside; pacing, go outside—until we thought we were too stressed and so was he.

"Why don't you put him in his crate?" my husband asked of Ethan.

Five minutes later, Ethan stormed upstairs, his eyes narrowed, his fists clenched. "I can't get him to go in his crate. He bit me."

"He bit you?" My husband jumped to his feet. "Where?"

"Well, not hard, but he snapped at me."

Exaggeration is not acceptable right now, thank you.

TJ returned upstairs with the dog. Apparently neither of them could get him in his crate. Which is odd, because that dog loves his crate. Loves it.

The pacing continued, as did the potty breaks, until I decided to get up and attempt to get him in his crate—after many failed attempts to get him to lie down . . . and stay.

"Ethan," I called up the stairs, "grab some treats!"

I pulled at Zona's collar, pushed his behind, tried picking him up, but he fought me. Ethan arrived with the treats, and together we convinced the dog to get inside. Arizona slept down there all night long, no whining, no more accidents—thank God—and this morning, he was seemingly happy.

Maybe he had gas? Maybe a UTI?

I'm not sure. But on my way to work, while thinking about how much his vet appointment is going to cost—and whether this is a signal that our time with him is nearly up—a song that I don't normally hear on Pandora came on. Actually, it's a song that shouldn't come on my station because I don't have much else like it on there: Don't Worry, Be Happy.

I turned up the volume and laughed, then sang along. You may not believe in God, and maybe you don't believe in fate either, but the timing of this song was perfect, like a divine intervention. Rather than worry about the bills and the cancer and the accidents, I just need to do what needs to be done and be happy.

He's a good dog. He's had a good life. And he's still here.

We need to enjoy him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Rule of Seven

Hey, guys,

So, the lovely and amazing Jessa Russo tagged me on Facebook with this little game. So, you can all thank her for this teaser from SHATTERED SECRETS.

There are more psychos? Fantastic.

Boredas offered me his hand again. I took it, not because I wanted to touch him, but because I had to get out of the trunk, survey my surroundings, look for an escape. He pulled me from the car, and I landed on the crunchy gravel then glanced around. Black Dodge Charger, field of harvested corn in front of a dense forest across the street, rows and rows of scrappy pine trees to my left and right, and a shack of an A-frame house behind me.

I swallowed hard.~

So, here are the rules: Go to either page 7 or 77 of your manuscript. Count down 7 lines, then copy the next 7 lines to your status. After that, name 7 more authors to come out and play.

My seven authors:

Dawna Raver
Julia Hughes
Deborah Krager
Raine Thomas
Ayden Morgen
Jamie Ayres
Wendy Russo

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shiny Teeth

Welcome back, Six Sundayers (and everyone else). We're closing in on the last of the official Six Sunday posts, but don't worry, I'll still find ways to share teasers with you.

This week I'm bringing another segment from my WIP Shattered Secrets. I decided to make a pretty little placeholder image for this book. Makes it more real. More fun.

Anyway, last week Abigail was riding around in the trunk of some mystery--and stinky--person's car. This week, things progress just a bit. She's been screaming and kicking and trying everything in her power to get free, but well, duct tape is some good stuff!

~ My abductor opened the trunk, and I pushed myself back. A futile attempt to get away.

Black painted the sky, and a dingy yellow light glowed brightly behind his head. At least it was still dark; I couldn't be that far from home. He brought a cigarette to his mouth, then took a long, dramatic drag. Blowing the smoke towards me, he smiled, revealing a mouth full of gleaming sharp teeth.~


Wilde's Fire            -           Wilde's Army              -            Wilde's Meadow

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Must Read: Warm Bodies

Wow. Just wow. I'm not a big fan of zombie books. I think people's fascination with human-destroying diseases is pretty freaky.

Then, I'm not a big fan of a horror.

But Isaac Marion may change my mind.

Let me introduce you to R. He's a zombie who doesn't remember his name, how old he is, what he used to do before the world collapsed, how the world collapsed, how to read, or anything that might actually help him be human. What he does know: he has to eat humans to stay alive, and it makes him feel undeniably guilty. (Trust me, he moans about it.)

R is different; his brain surges with eloquent words, with a need to feel, with a longing to regain the life he lost. Yes, he's still a zombie—there's brain-eating, loss of limbs, shotguns to the head—but he's the sweetest zombie you'll ever meet.

Then R discovers Julie, a human who he now feels the need to protect. "Keep . . . you safe."

Julie makes him feel. She reminds him what it's like to be a human. She gives him hope, because Julie has it. A lot. There's a fantastic message to be found in this book, a message to enjoy what you have, live life to the fullest, never give up.

It's a message I truly believe in.

But there are bigger forces at play here. In this sci-fi future, the humans are dwindling and will shoot anything that walks the wrong way, and the Boneys (these are the skeletal versions of zombies, the ones who have been this way for quite a while—and even seem to like it—who make me think of aliens) don't like threats to their survival.

As R and Julie grow closer, everyone around them changes. R's best friend M wants to help "Keep. Her. Safe." and he even gathers an army of "changing" zombies to help.

An epic battle between Boneys, humans, and R-like zombies rages, and when R and Julie think they're going to die, true love proves them wrong.

Seriously. You have to read this book. True love. Epic battles. A lesson in appreciation and hope. A little comedy. Zombie brain-eating. A happy ending!

Oh, and it's a short read. I devoured this in a few hours.

5 stars and THANK YOU to Isaac Marion for sharing his words with us.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trip to the Store

I don't know why we do it, take all our kids to the store with us. I'm not sure if it's truly family time, or if we just enjoy torturing our children—and ourselves. But, nonetheless, we all pile into the car and hit the grocery aisles together.

Sometimes having five people works to our advantage. We find items on our list quicker when the twelve-year-old searches with us. We remember to buy things we otherwise would have forgotten when the six-year-old is with us (I still can't believe she's SIX!).

But there are other days when a singular thought SCREAMS through my head, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???"

Yesterday was one of those days. This is how our trip went.

Kid #1 to Kid #2: Would you stop looking at me?

Me: Enough. I know you're mad at me because I won't let you read that book, but stop taking it out on everyone else. Seriously, your sister is looking at you. Get over it.

Kid #1 huffed and lagged behind.

Kid #2 pushed away Kid #3: Stop, stop, stop. Mommy, she's trying to lick me.

Me: Gross, Rissa. *Sticks arm between them and pushes them away from each other* (Why do they make carts with dual seats again?)

Kid #3 smiled and stuck out her tongue, and the hubs wandered off to collect items on our list . . . alone.


Kid #2 screamed—in the store!

Me: Abby, shhh.

Kid #2: But she keeps trying to lick me.

Me *Takes kid #2 out of shopping cart*: How about you walk for a while?

I loaded a few items into the buggy as my husband rounded the corner—thank God—and added his loot to the rest of the pile.

Hubs: Was that Abby I heard screaming two aisles over?

Me: *Glares*

Kid #1 ran up the aisle with Kid #2 hot on his trail: Get away from me.

Hubs: Get over here, both of you!

I glanced around to make sure no one was watching our horrible parenting skills.

Kid #2 wailed: He hit me!

Me *puts her back in cart with licking sister*: Ethan, why can't you just get along with her?

Kid #1: She's mean and annoying and—

Me: I get it. It's impossible. When are you going to learn to be the bigger person?

Kid #1 rolled his eyes.

Hubs wandered off again while the rest of us perused the produce section. Somewhere near the potatoes, Kid #3 started growling like a dinosaur, at the top of her lungs. Everyone in the store looked our way.

Me, under my breath: Rissa, stop.

Kid #3 leaned her head back and roaaaaarrreeeed again.

I laughed. What else could I do? She wasn't crying? She was just being a toddler, a creative, imaginative toddler. While the roaring was quite loud, my request to make her stop only made her louder.

Kid #1: I'm so embarrassed. What's wrong with her?

Me: Same thing that was wrong with you when you were this age.

Kid #1 rambled on about something I'm sure meant he was perfect and we would never have allowed him to get away with anything of the sort. Maybe he's right. Maybe not. I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter because to him I'll always be wrong.

Hubs returned with the rest of the items from our list, and we rushed toward the check out lines. While a few of our fellow shoppers probably judged us, I was at least satisfied we didn't break anything or have to remove our children from the store.

Not that we've ever had to do that . . . yet. 

How about you? Ever take your kids somewhere and regret it? OR, if you are a kid, have you ever been with your parents on one of these shopping trips?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Flashback Blog Hop

So, my good friend Fel is hosting the Flashback Blog Hop to celebrate the one year anniversary of her blog. She's asked us to repost things from 2012 that we are proud of, love, had a good response to, etc. I really wanted to post a piece of poetry from December 2011, but that would be cheating.

I decided to blog about one of my more popular posts from 2012, a piece of flash fiction I wrote for The Writers' Collection, a group I need to get back into because they really helped with my creative juices.

This piece is titled Once Upon a Time (and was written in a very short period, so forgive me).


~ 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.~


Wilde's Fire            -           Wilde's Army              -            Wilde's Meadow

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stuffed in the Trunk #SixSunday

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season. I know I enjoyed my family and friends and wish I were still sitting at home in my comfy chair! But . . . I'm not. Well, I probably will be by the time you're reading this.

This segment comes from Shattered Secrets, right after a strange man abducts Abigail Nichols from her family's front porch.


I knew two things: my head hurt, and I was stuffed in the trunk of a car traveling down a bumpy gravel road. Dust floated all around me, the millions of tiny particles glowing red from the taillights. Someone's dirty laundry must have filled the duffel bag my head rested on; the smell would have cleared a skunk out of a room. My wrists were bound behind my back, and I was gagged.

Even if I could scream, my voice would have been useless. We were driving, probably in the middle of nowhere.~


Wilde's Fire            -           Wilde's Army              -            Wilde's Meadow

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Charge #coverreveal

Last May, I still worked for Curiosity Quills Press and had the wonderful experience of reading submissions. During this process, I met Sharon Bayliss. She's quite a talented author, and I loved being able to tell her "YES! You will be published!"

Today is her big Cover Reveal day, and I couldn't be happier to host her. Her book comes out in the next couple months, and it's something Sci-Fi fans will adore!

What if Texas never joined the United States, and instead became it's own nation? 

In The Charge that's exactly what happened. In the 1830s, the Republic of Texas was taken over by a dictator with superhuman powers who named himself the first King of Texas. Eighty years later, the Texas Empire has fallen into ruin, but the story of the Texas royal dynasty is far from over.

College freshman Warren King wants nothing more than to enjoy a beer by the pool on his summer break...but that's not what fate has in store for him. When Texas soldiers kidnap his little brother, he embarks into a still-wild West to save him.  While fumbling through a search attempt in the lawless Texas Empire, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever. He and his brother are estranged members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead.  Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

The Charge was a quarterfinalist for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and won a Publisher's Weekly review:

"A solid cast of well-developed characters, including a “super-tall” royal Texan family, stars in this thrill ride of a novel teetering between sci-fi adventure and alternate historical epic...Easily shifting between characters’ perspectives, and relentless in its action, well-placed humor, and suspense, this manuscript is a delight."

The Charge will be available in digital and print formats from Curiosity Quills Press on Texas Independence Day, 3/2/13. Go to www.facebook.com/thechargebook for updates.

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