Links To Nightmares

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Okay I’m an author, I have written six books, and published three. The fourth book is due out next month. (May, 2016) That being said, the search history on my computer is varied and odd, take into a count that I right paranormal/urban fantasy… and well it gets a little hinky up in the google search bar once in a while. I’ve been known to search for the odd and strange?

Put that together with the fact that I like to think I was a witch doctor in another life and I think I might be coming down with…(go ahead and put in whatever illness is the current illness), me and WebMD. Two peas in a pod I tell’a. Anyway I’m pretty sure I’m on a couple of the FBI watch lists.

I might have once asked my husband in the security line at the airport to check my six, and been pulled out of said line for a pat down.

But here is where I cock my head to the side and think to myself….wha….mosthauntedhouse

I saw this on Facebook, I mean seriously why would you click on that link. Do you want to have nightmares? Are you thinking—boy you know what I don’t have enough of… NIGHTMARES. I better click on this link because what I need is to be sleeping soundly and to be woken up with a horrible nightmare, only to be shaking in my warm bed in the dark afraid to get out because the lord above only knows what is waiting for me beyond the safe haven of my bed to turn on a light and chase away the darkness.

Yup, that’s what I need. I better click on this link.

Seriously people, is this what we have come down to? Links telling us that if we click on this, there is a good chance we will be scared to the point we will most likely have nightmares. NIGHTMARES people.

Why? Why would we do that?

Now, the reasonable side of my brain is saying: Christie the actual chances that this link will cause you to have nightmares are pretty low. However, that being said, the unreasonable side of me? The side that enjoys a hearty undisturbed nights sleeps is saying: Why chance it.

I’m just disturbed that this is where we have fallen, links to nightmares.

Hey that sounds like a good name for a band.

band

Finding my Fans and Social Media

Depositphotos_34892029_originalSo what is the magic bullet… the magic thing… that magic key, the recipe that brings the masses forth from the unknown depths to buy your books? I’ve been pondering that questions as I get ready to publish my next book, my fourth that is.  You would think I would have some idea about the secret sauce by now. But the questions and the recipe for the secret sauce is more convoluted now then it was years ago when I first jumped into this mired pool.

I’ve contemplated PR teams, Facebook ads, Facebook apps, twitter ads, twitter apps, Instagram, blogging, emailing, spamming, Pintrest, Goodreads, YouTube, book signings, virtual book signings, Google, Google Play, LinkedIn, Vine, Tumbler, Instagram, Flickr,.. I’ve Social Media myself to death and what have I got out of it??? Mediocre sales and a headache…

Now I’m definitely not saying the readers are not out there, but I wonder as I beat my head against my desk on yet another morning, as I read another article about how to reach those readers if what I have been doing and what I plan on doing is just a waste of time, or a waste of my energy.?!

Is my marketing money wasted in email marketing/blogging/Facebook/twitter…

Here is the conundrum… several years ago or not so many years ago. Something amazing happened. Indie publishing hit it big. And with it these little people who knew nothing of the publishing world became publishers. (Introduce me! I’m taking a bow here, thank you very much.) At the sasocialmediame time, Social Media went bat shit crazy, and we were a match made in heaven.

All us knew authors who knew nothing about marketing, nothing about advertising, had to do was create a Facebook page and we were golden. Readers were meeting authors and vis versa.

It was a symbiotic relationship that was cataclysmic. It all blew up, now I’m not just talking about brick and mortar vs ebooks that blew up, I’m talking about the entire enchilada it splattered all over the wall. Editors, book cover artists, web developers, even developers of writing software. Writing became big business. And we all started co-existing like happy little ameba in a petri dish, when before it was a behind the closed door type of relationship that wasn’t talked about unless you had a signed contract. And even then you didn’t talk about it with other authors, god forbid.

Now days, you share your wonderful editor with your other author friends, you tell your authors about the great graphic artist you used for the cover of your books. You don’t hide these amazing people behind a closed door only used by one publisher. These people are valued and to be passed around because they need to feed their families too. But that’s another blog post.

Back to what I was going on about… when it all took off years back I remember sitting back and thinking how exciting it all was, how wonderful it was to be able to reach out and touch my fans. Or how fantastic it would be to publish a book without needing the backing of the big publishers from NYC backing me. How wonderful it would be to publish as many books as I wanted to a year, instead of just one book a year. (I will be publishing 3 this year!)

But the dust has settled… and I think the readers and even authors are standing back and looking around a little shell shocked wondering exactly the same thing I am… what did we learn from it all? And where have all the fans gone?

The worst part…. There’s a social media expert out there for everything give us all conflicting information when we desperately ask for help.

  • Twitter… the fans are out there you just need to post to twitter everyday between 2 and 4 – my book sales are dependent on twitter followers out there who only have an attention span of  140 characters for 2 hours a day? Is that EST time? MST? CST? Wait, maybe its Greenwich Time? SHIT… but I still Twitter…
  • Facebook… now I like Facebook, but the ads confuse me and you have to boost everything or good luck getting it out to your fans. Facebook is nickel and diming me out of all my sales. And don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and SMILE, and HAHA, and POST everything or a baby elephant is lose his citizenship to the US and have to grant rides to overgrown millionaires children.
  • Email List – Demand everyone you know give you their email along with everyone they know and all their relatives so that you can email spam then even though you have promised that you won’t email spam them. But you just can’t help it. But what you email spam them is not really spam because—well its YOU!!! And you would never spam anyone.
  • Blog – You must blog everyday for as long as you can, forget everything else that is on your to do list and blog, blog, blog, blog. Your readers want to hear from you ALL THE TIME. BLOG. BLOG BLOG. Did I mention you should blog? Because you should. Blog that is. Then when you post your blog, you should email that shit out. And twitter about it, and Facebook it and make sure you boost that Facebook post because well the elephant don’t forget about the ELEPHANT!

And in the end, do I have any more fans than I did at the beginning? Maybe, a couple? Probably… and the receipt to the secret sauce… it’s still a secret.

But hey if you figure that shit out would you mind passing it along to me I would love to twitter about it or maybe Post it on Facebook? Or email out? I might even Blog about it.socialmedia2

Surviving the Holidays Healthily and Happy

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I don’t know about you but the holidays at my house means eating, eating oh and more eating.  A common theme growing up in my house was if you feed them they will come. So we always had food, and we were known for giving out huge plates of chocolates for Christmas. This tradition is one my mother still does.

So with that in mind the first or second week of December my mother, who lives with me, heads out to stay with my sister for a week to make chocolates for the holiday season. This consists of about 100 pounds of assorted homemade peanut clusters, almond clusters, coconut clusters, peanut-butter cups, caramels, fudge, truffles, etc. Needless to say we are more than supplied for the holidays. These are meant to be used as presents for family, friends, and neighbors, generally anyone who stops by during the holidays. But honestly year after year we gorge ourselves (those coconut clusters have my name written all over them.) on these treats throughout the month. Oh don’t get me wrong, friends and family get their fair share.

Then there are the holiday parties between get-togethers, work parties, and family parties. So much food, and it’s the best of the best foods. I feel like I’m gaining weight just writing about it. If you happen to be on a diet or are trying to eat healthy that idea and promise to yourself quickly goes flying out the proverbial window. Only to be picked back up with that ‘new year’s resolution’.

But what if I told you there was a better way. It’s time to enjoy the holiday season without feeling guilty. When I say guilt free I don’t mean throw all your goals for being healthy out the window for the holiday season. I mean being mindful of what your goals are during the holiday season. I mean taking accountable of those goals living them fully throughout the month. Now who’s with me? Who’s ready to live guilt free throughout the holiday season? Who’s ready to enjoy the holidays fully?

The first thing you need to do is set your goals for the holidays. What are your goals? Do you want to connect with your loved ones this Holiday season? Is it about finding that one perfect gift? Is it to stay on your diet? Is it to reconnect with lost loved ones?

When looking back on past holiday season’s what made them wonderful for you? It is to throw the best holiday party? Only you can know what will make this the best holiday for you. Do you want to finish your novel so you can enjoy the holidays? Here are my goals for this holiday season to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

My first goal for this season is connections. I want to enjoy the season and really connect with my loved ones. Having a goal around the season regardless of whether it be about your health or not gives you purposes for the season. And once you have purpose you are able to create something. It also doesn’t allow you to procrastinate, once a goal is set you have a purpose to move forward. This goal will also give you ideas and will help narrow your mindset, you can decide what you need to do vs what you have to do. Because my purpose is to connect with my loved ones I can decide whether or not to go to certain events, if it doesn’t fall into my goal of family connection I can say no without it going against my holiday goal of family connection.

My second goal is to not over eat and drink plenty of water. Wow! That’s a pretty hefty goal for the holiday season. But I also want to enjoy and connect which means going to family oriented holiday parties. But if I have that goal going in, I always know what I can and cannot do. I also help myself by keeping a food diary. This is extreme I know but if you write down everything I eat and look at it I can see if I am over eating. When I know I am going to have a tough month I know I have to do something to keep myself on track. (Please keep in mind this is what works for me it may not work for everyone.)

My third goal: Not to over book myself. This is very important. If I overbook myself then I feel like I am going crazy and then I don’t enjoy the holiday season. So at the time I am writing this article (early Nov.). For the weekends, I am already booked through till the end of Dec.  (Holy Cow!) I’m not complaining, I have a very busy life. I have a great family and wonderful friends. But that means I have to be very choosy about what goes on my schedule from now through the end of the year. I have to take into account what my first two goals are. Does it have to do with family connection? Will it take away from my goal to stay healthy? Will it conflict with something else I have already on my schedule?

Because it’s the holiday season you should only want three goals, if three is overwhelming only have two, if two is too much then only do one goal. Trust me I’ve had years when I was only capable of one goal. This isn’t about having the most goals or about accomplishing the most. It’s about making the most out of the goals you set.

Holiday-Parties

Here are some important tips for being healthy during the holidays.

  • Stay organized. The worst part of the holidays is getting disorganized that leads to mindlessness. And mindless behavior means throwing your goals down the toilet. Your goals should never ever end up in the toilet.
  • Be the hostess with the mostess. If you feel like you want the control so you can maintain your healthy eating habits host the party yourself.
  • When eating, drinking and being merry. Throw in some extra activity. Now isn’t the time to start a new cardio program. But if you’re eating more throw in some extra activity.
  • Tis the season to give. Sometimes it’s more about the giving then the receiving, how about visiting your local homeless shelter and donating your time or make a Donation.
  • Broken record time. Drink lots of water. You may think this is a summer thing only but as you run around to all your holiday errands and holiday parties you easily become dehydrated. So make sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Exchange your regular recipes with healthy recipes. The internet is chock full of exchange receipt. I’ve exchanged lots of high-calorie receipts for lower calorie healthier recipes. Example: mashed potatoes with cauliflower mashed.
  • Make time for yourself. The holiday season is so hectic and you are spending it thinking about everyone else but you. Make sure to take some time for you, you deserve it. This might mean taking an afternoon to get a mani-pedi. Trust me your inner self will thank you.
  • Have a day with more than one holiday party? Afraid you’ll over eat? Use the small plate instead of the regular size dinner plate. You’ll naturally eat less.
  • Most important, don’t forget the holiday traditions. Don’t have any? It’s never too early to start one.

 

Blog_hot-chocolateI don’t know about you, but I think the holiday season is a magical time of year. People are more generous, and kindness seems to pour out of people. I love to sit and listen to Christmas carols on the radio and sip hot chocolate. I used to make myself crazy, by letting the hectic craziness of the holiday season sweep me away. But by employing some of these techniques I have allowed myself to mindfully take over the holiday season and I can now enjoy the beauty if it all with my family. And the best part is I a teaching my children to enjoy it for the same reasons.

 

 

 

**I just want to send out a Happy Holidays to all my fans. May you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday season. From my heart to your home and hearth. Stay warm and safe this season.

-Christie**

 

First Ever Reader/Author Luncheon Experience

Utah's Readers Luncheon

This last Saturday I was lucky enough to be involved in the first every Romance Reader/Author Luncheon, held in Salt Lake City at the Sandy Expo Center. Let me tell you this was a phenomenal event, I didn’t host a table, but volunteered and worked the registration table so I was so blessed to be able to interact will nearly every one of the guests who came into the event.

New York Best Selling author RaeAnne Thayne

New York Best Selling author RaeAnne Thayne

We had a wide variety of readers and authors. The majority of the guests had no idea what to expect at the event and as they checked it were surprised to get a large bag of swag donated by both authors attending the event and authors who were unable to attend but wanted to be presented. This was the first of many gifts that the attendees were given. Once the doors opened they were then given bags of swag at the tables by the authors. The swag ranged from books to cowboy hats, to champagne glasses full of chocolate. I have to admit the guests were drowning in swag, and give-a-ways.
But that wasn’t all, the speakers. OH my the speakers. RaeAnne Thayne and Robyn Carr both New York Times Best Sellers spoke. And can I tell you they were AWESOME. Rayne Ann spoke about getting in touch with your heroine. Her talk made me want to run out and write a kick ass, in touch heroines that every female in the room would be able to relate to. Then she introduced Robyn Carr and from the first words that fell from Mrs. Carr’s lips I was enthralled that woman knows how to get a crowd on the edge of their seats. Mrs. Carr spoke about the importance of reaching your tribe, or reaching out to those people that will become your ultimate fans. Those fans that will scream about

Best selling author Robyn Carr.

Best-selling author Robyn Carr.

your books from the ruff tops. I was a fan of Mrs. Carr’s before but now I just in love with the woman. She spoke about the how important it was to reach out of each and ever fan. Not that I don’t try to do that but Mrs. Carr really gave me some insite on how important it was and great ways to do it.

If you ever get the chance to hear either of these phenomenal women speak then you should run not walk to those events. They were just wonderful and I highly recommend you take the opportunity to hear them.
After the main event I manned the door at the book signing and spoke with readers as they left the book signing and the readers I was lucky enough to speak with said they had a wonderful time and that they would definitely be back next year. YEAH!! (Fist pump in the air.) Next year I won’t just be volunteering but I’ll have my own table and I certainly hope all my spectacular fans will be there supporting me.

This was such an amazing event and I can’t begin to thank everyone who put in tireless hours to make it happen. I was such a small part of it, but it was so wonderful and I can’t wait to see what next year brings. I know some of the headliners next year is going to bring and I’m jumping out of my skin with excitment for you all. You are not going to want to miss it.

Me and Robyn Carr

Me and Robyn Carr

Manning the registration desk.

Manning the registration desk.

 

Some of the amazing guest. Yes they came in costume.

Some of the amazing guest. Yes they came in costume.

 

1st Ever Book Signing – My Thoughts

My 1st Ever Book Signing 

I was so nervous moving up to the event I was giving myself panic attacks. Being an author is a solitary so stepping out of my solitary world was difficult to say the least. I was worried I would be left be alone, a drift in a sea of people. That I would sit all alone, that nobody would even come up to my table. But that was far from the case.
First of all Stacy and the crew from Hastings were just amazing. They knew exactly what they were doing and had control of the Authors fair and the crowd. They did social media boots during the event to bring more people into the book fair and were 100% professional throughout. They walked among the crowd on the floor mingling with guests and authors always making sure everyone had everything they needed. It was a very well hosted event. My only drawback or irritation was the sound system wasn’t very good, but I don’t think Stacy or Hastings had any control over that.  I wish I had gotten pictures of Stacy and his wonderful crew. Lesson learned for next time.
As for my personal experience? As I mentioned earlier being an author is a very solitary job, and throwing myself out into a crowd like this book fair was terrifying to say the least. It felt like stage

diving and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a crowd out there to catch me. Thank god there were!

I was so glad to meet so many author friends both new and old. And the friends and family that came to support me at my first event was overwhelming and filled my heart to near bursting. But the fans that came really touched my heart as well. You guys make the writing worthwhile. You guys make the stage diving worth the jump. 
My table at the book signing
Another view of me and my table!!
Me and a great friend who came to support me.

Here are some of the other great authors at the book signing with me:

Best Selling author: Lisa Bingham

Author: Kelli Ann Morgan

Author: Darby Briar
I honestly had such an amazing time. If you didn’t get a chance to make it to this event I will be signing books at another event. 

  • Upcoming Book Signing
    Location: Community United Methodist Church Holiday Boutique, Washington Terrace, 163 W 4800 S, Ogden, Ut.
    Date: November 13-14, 2015
    Time: Fri-1:00pm to 6:00pm & Sat-9:00am to 4:00pm

I will have awesome swag and everyone who buys a book will get a free coffee mug.

If you think you can’t wait for my next live event you can always order a signed copy of one of my books here.

Using Mythology in Current Writing

Using Mythology in Current Writing
Have you ever taken a writing class? I have, I’ve taken several, and besides the course’s where they give me writing prompts and critique’s, and grammar help. There always seems to be a prevailing tone that comes from the. “Write what you know?” if you are an author or an author want to be, you’ve heard this phrase. Now I’m a paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy/urban-fantasy author. And I like to think I’ve been around the block a couple of times but to be honest I haven’t run into many vampires, werewolves, reapers, or trackers, or anything else all that paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy. Although a couple of my past bosses could have passed for dragons, that’s a different blog post.
Anyway… what I’m getting at is writing what I know would probably bore my readers to tears. And it certainly wouldn’t sell any books. So that little bit of advice… honestly left me sitting on my hands for my twenties and most of my thirties.  Then I realized something. Write what you know? Is relative.
When writing fiction, you need to build a story on some type of foundation. That is where for me writing from Mythology comes in. I like to pull in an aspect of reality by threads of different types of Mythology.
How do I do this?
First of all, what is Mythology? Mythology is defined as collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition. So really what is a myth? A myth is a tradition or a story concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. Can also be known as folk tales or folklore, fables, and or lore. Broken down within regions and tribes. This opens up so many different avenues for writers because the threads for plots are limitless. The only thing holding you back is your own imagination.

Mythology is by its own definition a collection of stories. Taking those stories and dissecting them and then retelling them is the ultimate in storytelling.
For my books, I have taken several myths from Greek Mythology, Atlantis Mythology, Biblical Mythology, and the storytelling and mythology of Dante’s Inferno. The greatest part of being an author and a storyteller is being able to combine the mythologies and stories to fit around my characters and imagination. I believe that is the muse of the modern day paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy author.
So when I am told: “Write what you know.” I go within and say. “What if?” and “How about?” and “Maybe if.” Because it’s not always about what you know, sometimes it’s about what you make-be-leave.



Where you can find me

Blog take over: Sin Eater Episode 1.1

You’ve heard rumblings about it, now it’s finally here. SIN EATER by Pavarti K. Tyler and Jessica West is available now on Amazon.com. Check out my review and the giveaway at the end of this post!
Episode 1.1 is FREE 9/25 & 9/26 so grab your copy NOW. After that it will be $0.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited: Amazon.com
Episode 1.2 is available now for $0.99: Amazon.com


SinEater1.1

From Award-Winning Author Pavarti K. Tyler and Speculative Fiction Author Jessica West, comes a Dark Urban Fantasy serial about evil, and the next step in its evolution.
**This is Episode ONE in a seven part urban fantasy/horror serial**
A Sin Eater who battles demons for souls
A Priest who must protect what he most desires, even from himself,
A rogue Romani mortician with an attitude, a secret, and a powerful weapon,
And a Secret Order of the Church who knows more than they’re saying…

Nikolai Grekh is the last Sin Eater.
Born into a world rampant with demon possession, Nik Grekh struggles to keep Hell’s hordes from consuming the world, but he grows weary of the constant battle against sin. Evil grows stronger as more souls are lost. With each new possession growing increasingly violent, Nik fears he may be losing the war.
When Nik confronts a demon he can barely defeat, he reaches out to the only man who can save him. The only man he trusts. The one man he can never have…
Evil has resided alongside humanity since the beginning of time, feeding on our weaknesses, our vices. Our sins. It hungers for our souls, its demonic offspring possessing humans, corrupting, manipulating, using us as unwitting pawns in a supernatural chess match for the ultimate price: life.
The Crucifixion of Christ saved humanity once. What will it take to save us this time?
*contains mature content, offensive themes, and general deviance*
Sin Eater 1.1 is approximately 10,000 words or 45 pages, and is the first of seven episodes in the first season of the Sin Eater serial. If you don’t enjoy serials, you can pre-order the full Box Set on Amazon.


A Note About Serials: These are not stand alone books, however, if that drives you crazy, you can PREORDER the full box set now: Season1Box
For those reading alone as each episode is released, here is the full schedule:
Sin Schedule
Episode Publication Date
Episode 1 9/25/2015
Episode 2 9/25/2015
Episode 3 10/9/2015
Episode 4 10/23/2015
Episode 5 11/6/2015
Episode 6 11/20/2015
Episode 7 12/4/2015
Box Set 12/15/2015

Read an Excerpt
Nik’s hand dripped blood and his forehead throbbed.
“You can’t kill this man and that’s the only way you’ll get rid of me. You can’t take an innocent life without opening yourself up to my kind. So go ahead, kill him, and then I’ll wrap myself in your shell and consume your soul.” The monster licked its lips.
“Bullshit.”
The leaky, red eyes of the demon’s host displayed the first real signs of fear. It was all but beat. He was almost finished.
“Behold and obey. By the power of Christ, invested in me by the Kingdom of Heaven and its mighty King, I command you to yield. For this vessel is a child of God, sacred unto him.”
Beads of sweat popped out on the brow of the man before him, now crouching and glaring up at Nik. One side of his face had melted away, leaving only sinew and bone. He curled his arms and fists, making his biceps bulge with effort.
His voice, empowered by his birthright and emboldened by experience, rang clear in the night. “I exorcise thee, every unclean spirit, in the name of God,” Nik pressed his bloody palm against the demon’s forehead, “and in the name of Jesus, and in the name of the Holy Spirit!”
Nik drew the sign of the cross on the demon’s flesh with his own blood.
“Tell me your name! The blood of Christ compels you!”
The man’s bulging muscles shook. He ground his teeth, trying his best to stop from revealing his name and giving Nik the only thing he needed to destroy him. He screamed, a long and low furious yell that revealed the only thing that might have kept him safe: “Naamah.”
Nik slapped his wet palm onto the man’s sweaty forehead. “I exorcise thee, Naamah, in the name of God, and in the name of Jesus,” Nik’s hand burned the man’s flesh, but he couldn’t stop, “and in the name of the Holy Spirit.” He pulled his face close until the two were eye-to-eye.
The black from the demon’s eyes receded into its head, traveling the surface of the man’s skin and turning it gray. He opened his mouth and a black cloud rushed out, choking its former host as it was expelled.
The monster let out a shriek as the last of its hold on the man was ripped out, sliding out of his human host’s mouth and into a black glob on the street.
The man came to his senses. Confusion showed in his eyes as his mind was once again able to access his body. As the evil left the man’s body, he slumped to the ground and Nik lowered with him. Nik stayed just long enough to make sure the man’s pulse was stable. His job was to get the evil out, not to worry about what happened after.
Nik’s head spun, he was too exhausted, sick, and confused to reason it out. He’d exorcised the demon. That’s all that mattered. He’d figure out the particulars later.
The blood on Nik’s hand glowed a deep red in the darkness as he reached out and grabbed the evil before him. With a silent prayer, he picked it up, black sin wrapping around his fingers like tentacles. Bile rose in his mouth at the thought of what he needed to do next. Twice in one night.
The throb in his head began again and Nik stuffed the evil into his mouth, swallowing its slick putrid essence in one gulp.
Nik stood, but he swayed and leaned heavily on the wall to his left, unable to see through the dark haze that descended over his eyes. He felt like someone had snuffed him out. Cold gripped his body, seeping into his bones, pulling him down, crushing him in its icy fist.
He instantly regretted treating this one as he had every other. He should have known better. There was nothing about this possession that had been like the others. After everything he went through to beat this thing, he came right back around to the same thought as before. This would be the one that killed him.

And now the fun part! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Bliz — CHASING DAYLIGHT (Carolina Days #3) by Carey Heywood

CHASING DAYLIGHT (Carolina Days #3) by Carey Heywood 



Title: Chasing Daylight (Carolina Days, #3)
Author: Carey Heywood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 17, 2015

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Synopsis
Mitch Brooks exists day to day by keeping the world around him at arms length. There is no going back to the man he once was. That man was broken in a way there’s no fixing. Any hope outside of that is nothing but wishful thinking, until he meets her.

McKenzie Williams needed an escape. The last thing she needed was a scary beautiful man beating down her door in the middle of the night. Now, if only their paths would stop crossing, she could convince herself she didn’t feel a connection to him. Life has shown her the dreams she once held dear will never come true for her. Mitch struggles to get past the walls he’s built around himself while McKenzie works to build hers brick by brick. When the outside world exposes the vulnerabilities in his façade she abandons her own fears to stand by him. Will she be the one to save him from the darkness within him, or will he forever be chasing daylight?

Buy The Book

chasing Daylight

Excerpt

What is that noise? Lifting up from my pillow, I shake my head and listen for it again. I don’t have to wait long. A pounding strong enough to shake the entire building comes from downstairs. It takes me a moment to place where I am. The pile of boxes and trash bags in the corner are a quick reminder that North Carolina is a fresh start. The pounding comes again and I hurry out of bed, grabbing my robe as I make my way to the stairs. Since the place isn’t opening for another month, I’ve been leaving the door to my unit open at night. Clinching my robe tight around my waist, I take the stairs two at a time. It’s a back stair, colonial style, letting out at what was once a kitchen. When I turn at the bottom of the stairs, I have a straight line of sight to the front door. The view greeting me stuns me into to an unexpected standstill; so much, that my body rocks from the impact of it. The front door is steel with a window making up the top half of the door, steel trim surrounding it. There, lifting an arm that looks as thick as my leg is a mountain of a man. Three things hit me at that moment; first, if I can see him, he can see me; second, it’s the middle of the night, and third, I have no clue what to do. “Hey,” he booms. I’m shocked the window is still intact not only from his pounding but from the impact of his voice. At the sound of it, I jump, but don’t move any closer to him. “I need help,” he continues. At that moment, I realize he has only knocked with one hand and is cradling something in his other arm. The roots holding my feet in place retreat, and without thought, I dash to the door and begin unlocking it. There’s the regular door handle lock, a deadbolt, and a slide lock at the top of the door. Tugging the door open the stranger wastes no time in advancing into the room. I step out of his way and move toward the light switch. Once the room is flooded with light, my brain processes the sight before me. He has to be 6’4 maybe even taller, with dark brown hair at least a year past its last haircut, and a face that’s at least half a month overdue for a shave. His shoulder stops my perusal of him, or rather what’s over his shoulder. “Oh, my God. What happened?” I ask, rushing over to look at what appears to be a German shepherd he’s holding. “He’s wheezing and vomiting. I don’t know why.” I gulp at the tremble that was unmistakable in his words. My mouth drops as my eyes fully connect with his golden brown ones for the first time. “Where should I put him?” he asks, looking around. “I’m not a vet,” I stammer. His brows furrow and he half turns to glance out the still open door and to the clearly illuminated sign that says 24 hour Critter Haven and Spa. “We don’t open for another month,” I stammer in an attempt to explain. His head turns back to me, the gold in his eyes no longer panicked, now hard. “Save my fucking dog.” His words whip out like a physical blow and I lift my hands to protect myself. It’s now that I fear for my safety. Now, after letting in a stranger, a giant one who is clearly not in his right mind, I’m afraid.

About The Author
carey
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with six books out and many more to come. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Ever the mild-mannered citizen, Carey spends her days working in the world of finance, and at night, she retreats into the lives of her fictional characters. Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, and their nine-pound attack Yorkie.

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Interview — Ryder

You voted and here it is, my interview with Ryder for Shadow Play. 

 I’m sitting in a nondescript coffee house in Salt Lake City, UT. (Beans & Brew). Because I’ve been told: “Just because you write the shit, doesn’t mean you are trustworthy to visit.” Which I find rather ironic. I mean I did write it didn’t I?

  So with that in mind I am waiting for Ryder, and I assume Kyra to come to me because I am not allowed to go The Staten. And again the irony of the situation is not lost on me. I’m sipping my favorite coffee, a Caramel Cielo and wondering briefly if meeting in a coffee house for a Tracker’s sense of smell isn’t a bad idea maybe I should have picked a book store or a park. But then I hear it the deep rumble of a motorcycle, you know the kind that you feel deep in your chest before your ears register the sound. And part of me wants to jump up and run to the windows. But I force myself to stay in my chair, I notice several of the women in the coffee house look up to appreciate the view, and I know it’s him. And I wonder for a second if I should have scoped out the back exit. After all, I wrote him, and I know how freaking dangerous he is.

  As the door opens and the air is displaced the first thing I realize about him is that he is so much bigger in real life. Like HOLY SHIT, he is larger than life! And I’m in awe, the next thing I notice is the way he scans the entire restaurant in one glance. I wonder if the other patrons realize that the larger than life guy that just walked in is capable of killing them with his bare hands.

  And Kyra is following him, and she is just as beautiful as he is out of this world. Her nostrils flare as she takes in the different smells. I can almost see her cataloging all the different smells and lives. And I wonder what I have created here. I lock eyes with Kyra, and she winks as she pushes past Ryder on her way to the counter and places an order. Once that is done they both make their way over to the booth, I am sitting in and Kyra slides in first the Ryder.

  Kyra gives me a large smile, “How are you today Christie?” she asks. I’m just speechless for a moment.

  “Are you mute?” Ryder finally asks, and I turn to him.

  “No.” I stumble. “I just can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s a serial feeling.”

  Kyra laughs softly, “Tell us about it.”

  I nod, and motion to my notepad full of questions, “Um do you just want me to get started?”

  Ryder glares at my notepad and reaches over and grabs it, “Hey!” I say, he can’t just take things away from me I should be in charge. But he raises one eyebrow at me like I’m going to stop him, right?

  “My favorite color is black. I train in my spare time. My most important thing in the world is Kyra and my brothers. Favorite food is steak. Favorite drink is water. Shoe size? Seriously?” he rolled his eyes. Guess that means he wasn’t going to answer that one. “Music? I listen to whatever Kyra puts on my iPod. I don’t watch movies or TV. Scariest monster I have ever come across?” He sighed and rolled his eyes again. I think he might have gotten that trait from Kyra because she does that a lot. And I was getting sick to my stomach because this interview was not going the way I had planned. But luckily I was saved because the barrister called out their order, and he threw my notepad down on the table.

  Kyra grabbed it and looked at it, “Can I give you some advice?”

  “Please.” Because I needed all the help I could get at this point.

  “Stop letting him control the interview,” Kyra said with a smile. “He thinks he can intimidate you.” I look over at Ryder and then it’s me that’s rolling my eyes, “Have you seen the man? He’s like…” and I want to rest my head against the coolness of the tabletop.

  “Yes, I know,” Kyra says with a pat on my hand. “But take control, you can do it.” She pulls her hand away as Ryder returns with two coffee cups. One for himself and one for Kyra.

  “Ryder?” I say taking a deep breath, I use my mother tone, the one that makes my kids listen to me. “What kind of coffee are you drinking?” I ask.

  He blinked, which made me blink. “Eye Opener.” See I was expecting black. Surprise, surprise.

  “What do you do when nobody is looking?”

  Ryder: “Read.”

  Me: “What are you reading?”

  Ryder: “None of your business.”

  Kyra chuckled, and I knew I had to have this answer.

  Me: “You promised you would answer all my questions.”

  Kyra: “You did promise.”

  Ryder: “Did you know women are very hard to understand?”

  Me: “Matter of opinion.”

  Ryder: “Fact. I don’t understand women. I don’t think I ever will.”

  Me: “So you are doing something to rectify this?”

  Ryder shrugged, “Trying to figure you out. I tried some self-help books, but that was all bullshit. So I’ve been reading some romance novels.”

  My mouth fell open, actually fell open. Kyra reached over and closed it for me. “I think I might have heard you wrong. Can you please repeat that last part for me?”

  He speaks very slowly for me, “I said I have been ready romance novels in the hope of understanding women.” Kyra nodded as he spoke, and I turn to her. “I don’t understand what he is trying to accomplish.”

  Ryder looked at Kyra and then back to me, “See that’s because she is a woman. Women are complicated creatures. Ask Marcus he will agree, and he and Celeste are connected with a mind link.”

  Me: “Um not about to ask Marcus to explain women to me with Celeste sitting next to him.”

  Ryder grunts, “Yeah, pretty sure Celeste would kick your ass.” I can’t agree more.

  “Okay, so who are you currently reading?” I can’t wait to hear this. “Do you read paranormal? Chick-lit? Erotica?”

  Ryder looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, “I read all sorts of romance. I don’t pigeon hole myself to just one genre’. But I don’t read paranormal because it just pisses me off with how wrong they all get it.” I guess that makes sense.

  “So who are you currently reading?” I ask again. And I swear if Ryder was ever going to blush this was the time, but I don’t think Ryder is capable of blushing I just don’t think it’s in his genes.

  “His favorite at the moment is Nora Roberts,” Kyra explains, of course, everyone loves her I think. “Julie Garwood historical stuff” Another excellent author. “And Johanna Lindsay.”

  I’m pretty speechless, “So is it helping?”

  Kyra gives me a huge smile, and Ryder looks uncomfortable. “None of your business.”

  Me: “So you won’t say if you understand women better?”

  Ryder: “Women are still a mystery. Do you have any other questions?”

  I think for a moment not daring to even look at my notepad for help. “What do you want the fans to know about the Trackers?”

  Ryder: “Not a fucking thing.”

  Me: “Ouch, guess I walked right into that one.”

  Ryder gave me the first real smile since this interview started. And instead of reassuring me it sends chills down my spine.

  Me: “What are you and Kyra working on right now?”

  Ryder: “Secret mission, so if I told you I’d have to kill you.”

  I look from Ryder to Kyra, and they are both unreadable. Again the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.

  Me: “You realize I’m the author here right?”

  Ryder: “Yup, but even you don’t know everything all the time. Sometimes we characters are building arc’s in the background while shit is happening in other places.” He winks at me and the chills I have increased tenfold.

  Me: “There sure are a lot of irons in the fire right now Ryder. The Tribunal is messing around right now. The Reapers are in a lot of trouble, and your brothers are getting more involved than ever.” I warn.

  Ryder: “Shit never goes the way it’s supposed to, does it, Christie.” He slides out of the booth and holds out his hand for Kyra.

  Kyra gives me a smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes, “Keep yourself safe and keep writing your stories because the real history needs to be written. Something the Druids forgot to do a long time ago.” I slide out of the booth, and Kyra wraps her arms around me, and the fear from seconds before is washed away.

  I extend my hand to Ryder, “Thank you for the interview, Ryder.”

  He looks from my hand to my face and then finally takes my hand. His hand is warm and large enveloping mine as he shakes, and then release’s it. I following them to the door and watch as they climb onto the large Harley they never look back as they pull away and drive off.

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Healthy Writer Wednesday – 09/09/2015 Try Something New

Healthy Writer Wednesday: Try Something New

  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

  This goes the same when working out and eating healthy. You’ve probably heard this before, and I’m not asking you to do something outrageously different. If you’ve read any of my Healthy Writer Wednesday posts you know I just want you to make small changes.

  So what is considered a small change? If you are only doing cardio? I want you to throw in some weight lifting. Now I don’t mean going into the weight lifting area of your gym and doing something that will make you so sore that you never want to look at another set of dumbbells for the rest of your life. No, I want you to start small. If you are doing 30 min. of cardio a day (which is what the American Heart Assoc. recommends) Then I want you to throw some light weights into the mix, like for the last ten minutes of your cardio work out I want you to do 5lb dumbbell curls. Or if you want you can venture into the weight room and do some upper body. Keep in mind you will want to do light weights. Do NOT jump into a weight lifting routine with heavy weights just because you have been doing cardio for the last six month. Over doing anything will only burn yourself out and leave you so sore you won’t be able to do anything. It’s about starting slow and then moving up to more heavy weights. You can download wonderful apps on your phone or print out great workouts from the internet. I love www.bodybuilding.com for ideas on different kinds of workouts. Another great resource for workouts is pintrest boards you can find fun and great works there as well. But don’t get stuck looking at workouts and forget that you actually need to do the workout.

 Another thing to keep in mind is stagnation. If you feel that your workout has stalled and isn’t going anywhere you need to try something else. This happens when you have been doing the same thing over and over again. I know this has happened to me before, I find something I like and do it until my body gets used to the exercise and I almost do it by memory. My body and my metabolism finds a way to work around it and I stop losing weight and I get tired again. It’s the definition of insanity, I am eating right and exercising like a crazy person. But I’m not losing any weight, you see it all the time at the gym and on the scale. So here are a couple of ideas to mix it up: (this is by no means a definitive list, and please before starting any exercise routine or something new check with your physician to make sure it is safe for you and your body.)

  • Try Zumba if you have never done it, it’s a fun and wonderful way to mix up your exercise routine.
  • Step class! Throw on that headband, step class isn’t just for hard core 1990’s spandex junky.
  • Try yoga, if you’ve never done yoga now is the time for lean strong muscle.
  • Bikram yoga. Hot, hot, hot yoga. Bring a towel and find a hot studio near you today.
  • Aerial yoga, and go weightless. Hang ten, or upside down. New craze sweeping through the nation.
  • Boxing anyone? Kick some ass to mix up your workout routine.
  • How about some Kickboxing, Tae-bo still a popular way to burn some extra calories.
  • Cycling either inside or out, it’s a blast. Get your but in a seat today.
  • Row Row Row your rowing machine. Find a rowing class today for a full body workout.
  • Swimming class isn’t just for the old. Dive into a swimming pool and swim yourself thin.
  • Cross fit – for those wanting a hard core fitness experience.

  Changing it up, sends a signal to your body and metabolism do something different and you will burn more calories. Your body is amazing like that. And who knows you might find something you love and enjoy.

  Let me know if you find something new and exciting I am always looking for something new and interesting. 

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