Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

In Which You Learn About ALL SMOKE RISES by Mark Matthews and He Gushes About Me But I Didn’t Ask Him To.

TODAY’S BREW: Blizzard Brew by New England Coffee and it is STRONG.

By Julie

As an editor, I get to play with books before anyone else, and sometimes I feel like I’m finding treasure. ALL SMOKE RISES by Mark Matthews, a long-time friend published alongside me at Books of the Dead Press, is one of those glinting jewels. Visceral, beautiful, horrible, speaking of the human condition and of what it could be for both good and bad, frightening and hopeful and destitute. In this post that I SWEAR he asked me to put up, I didn’t as HIM to put up, he raves until I’m in tears about how awesome I am as an editor, but let me tell you that Matthews has a style and unique perspective on his subject matter and in his craft that gleams like a shiny apple. Not to mention that I got to spend time with him at a convention once and it was awesome. He’s just the most genuine, thoughtful and hilarious guy, and it shows in this book.

 

 

All Smoke Rises releases this week, a follow up to my last novella, Milk-Blood. While it takes place just weeks after Milk-Blood ends, it also serves as a stand-alone read. *Hi, this is Julie. It totally stands alone. It will beg you to read MILK-BLOOD, though.* The book tackles drug addiction, urban decay, mental illness, and a host of other real-life horrors.

 

Even though it’s a story, it doesn’t mean it’s not true. The material is not fiction. It’s happening, right now. Addicts are roaming the streets, craving heroin the way a vampire craves blood. Children are living in urban squalor, with poverty so deep their best meals of the day come when they go to school. As Kealan Patrick Burke so generously wrote in the introduction, “All Smoke Rises perfectly encapsulates horror as a reflection of real life.”

 

The inspiration for writing All Smoke Rises came from my own work as a substance abuse therapist. For nearly 20 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of addicts from the Detroit area, many of them indigent. Before this time, I spent years in my own addiction. I woke up each day and my daily efforts were how to get high and get by. I now have 23 years clean and sober, and will never forget the immense power addiction has over the human soul.

 

All Smoke Rises is a book I’m damn proud of, but certainly did not create it on my own. I’ve got a long list of beta-readers and an incredible editor. Julie Hutchings. The most demure woman in the twitterverse. *It’s true, I am.*

I should point out, before I go on, that it was my idea, not hers, to guest blog and thank her for what a great job she did in editing my manuscript.

 

Readers would thank her, too, if they could, for the book they would have read would have been a much lesser piece had not Ms. Hutchings poured her own heart into the story.

 

Nuts and bolts were tightened. Extra parts were thrown away as needed. Paragraphs were reshaped, certain sentences were turned into stand-alone paragraphs, others were ended on a different note to keep the plot flowing. Overused phrases and words were smashed over my head until I saw stars. Rewording these descriptors made me work harder as a writer and created a better product.

 

If you’ve ever had a word document edited, you’ve come to know those little comment bubbles on the side. Well, Julie’s comments were different. They came alive. They spoke to me, made me laugh, or reached out from the screen and gave me nugies. If a nugie wasn’t enough, they grabbed me by the neck and squeezed until I heard my own esophagus crack. All of this to challenge me to be the best version of myself, and I responded in kind best as I could.

 

I’m so incredibly excited for this book. The producer of Monkey Knuckle Films is reading it now, and I hope some of the plot-line will be included into the movie adaptation of Milk-Blood. John F.D. Taff said, “All Smoke Rises makes Milk-Blood look like a freshman writing assignment.” Kealan Patrick Burke agreed to do the introduction after giving it a read, and seeing what he wrote was a highlight of my writing career.

 

But I did not write it alone, so thank you, Julie, for your invaluable contributions. Worth adding that, if you are only a digital friend of Julie, she is exactly as you would think in real life. I spent just a few hours hanging with Hutchings at a convention, and it was like swimming in a pool full of her tweets. She’s genuine good people, with genuine editing skills that I’d recommend to anyone who listens.

 

 

 

ALL SMOKE RISES

Ten year old Lilly is the victim of a terrible house fire and a wretched family. Her father is an addict with mental illness, her mother was murdered and then buried across the street, and her uncle got her addicted to heroin. Lilly’s tragic story has been told in the book ALL SMOKE RISES, and it may be true, for the author has broken into your house, and placed Lilly’s body on your kitchen counter. He demands you read the manuscript, before cutting his own wrists and bleeding out on your floor. Now you have decisions to make, for Lilly’s body may not be dead, and her family is coming for her.

 

“Make no mistake, when it comes to citations of true horror, you will be hard pressed to find a deeper and more challenging example than you will here. Matthews knows the heartbreak and tragedy of his subject. By the time you are done reading this, you will too.” ~KEALAN PATRICK BURKE, Bram Stoker Award winning author of KIN and Sour Candy

******

 

ADVANCE PRAISE “Heartbreakingly sad, overwhelmingly disturbing, creepy, violent and poignant. Highly recommended.” ~JOHN FD TAFF Bram Stoker Finalist “Filled with such dread and depravity that even the most desensitized among us will feel the pain. Matthews’s prose vividly shows the viciousness and hopelessness of drug addiction, and the beautifully horrifying images will stay with you long after the final page is digested.” ~JON BASSOFF, author of Corrosion, winner of the Darkfuse Reader’s Choice Award “True reality horror, with supernatural elements that only serve to make it more believable.” ~MICHAEL BRADFORD, Executive Producer, Monkey Knuckle Films.

 

Check out ALL SMOKE RISES on Amazon. Just $2.99 for kindle

Happy Book Birthday, Complete Me!

I’ve had a lot of release days, but I think this is a first. We’re having a hurricane/blizzard. It sounds like the roof is going to blow right off this building, and there’s no way we’re keeping power. So I got up in the middle of the night to make sure I could post this. :)

X has found his mate, and the Sawtooth Shifters series is complete.

This series became so much more than I expected for me. Every character I write becomes real. I write in first person, as you know, so it’s like they’re telling me their story just like they tell it to you. I’ve never written a seven book series before, and it was only supposed to be four books. Just the Channings and the Forever Home girls. But once I met the Lowes, they refused to be silent. Even though the characters are far from perfect, the characters found the people who loved them just the way they were. It was never about having to ‘fix’ each other, but each character realizing they were good enough just as they are. That there was so much more right than wrong. In Sawtooth Forest, I created a place I’d like to call home.

It’s been hard to let these characters go. I cried when I typed the end.

Keep reading for an excerpt of Complete Me!  And thank you for reading this series and loving these characters just as much as I do! xx

CompM_05 (1)Xavier Lowe wants peace.
A rogue attack kept him trapped in his wolf form, and he’s had enough of the endless war on Sawtooth Forest. His brothers want to play by the rules, but not X. If they don’t take care of this threat, there will be no future to fight for.
Chandra wants to belong.
Her parents left Sawtooth Forest before she was born. They didn’t want her to be sold, instead they gave her a chance to find her true mate. Now she’s in the place she wants to call home, but she never expected her pack to reject her.
Except for one. X knows that Chandra isn’t just any wolf, she’s his mate. And he’ll show her why Sawtooth Forest is worth fighting for.

Excerpt:
X came over to me. Determination and something that made my insides throb uncontrollably swirled in those incredible eyes. He pulled me into his body roughly and his lips crashed against mine in a kiss.
I was too stunned to move. This gorgeous, naked man kissed me in a room full the people who, whether they wanted me or not, had become my whole world in such a short amount of time. I imagined this is what it felt like to be stuck in a snow globe, frozen in time with everything raining down around me. Like the decorative orb, it was magical.
X didn’t give up. His lips moved against mine, coaxing them open. Just like those candy-colored eyes, he tasted salty, sweet, and a little bit forbidden. He’d been starving for this for much longer than the month I’d cared for him, and so had I. I hadn’t exactly been holding out for my true mate, but the way X touched me, his hand cupping the back of my head protectively, his thumb massaging my nape in time with the kiss, I felt like I’d never done this before.
Thank God he held on to me. X probably thought I’d run, but this kiss had turned my knees to junk.
“Come upstairs with me,” he whispered against my cheek.
“X, I…uh…” I had no idea what to say. I forced myself to look away from him, to the rest of the room. They were probably aware of what we were doing, but they didn’t care. There were several similar reunions happening all around us. It was funny, this passion I’d craved all my life scared the hell out of me when I held it in my hands. “We should probably…”
“Talk?” He grinned. “Believe me, there’s a lot of things I’ve been fantasizing about doing with you in my bedroom. How do you think I got through this month? I want to know everything about you.”
I laughed, falling against him in relief. “Talking sounds amazing.”

 

When Compromise is Fear by Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Chocolate Mint now and forever

By Julie

So last time we talked, I was feeling pretty grim. Looking at a reality where I might not be able to write for a living, looking at an end date when I would finally have to admit I couldn’t live off of what I love. It looked like facing reality but what it was really something else.

Fear.

Fear that once I had MORE time to write, with both kids in school full-time, that even then I wouldn’t be able to call it a job and be able to pay a bill with it.

Fear of going back to a job where I can’t be me all of the time. Every single second of the time.

Fear of not being able to give my kids THINGS, giant things because explaining to them that are better gifts than things feels like failure.

Fear of not being able to write another book.

Fear of changing my jump in with both feet approach to writing into a next-stage serious commitment to make it work no matter what.

Fear of being selfish.

I’ve always prided myself on being flexible, on being able to not look at one choice as the only choice. Being able to compromise and not let it feel like defeat, it’s part of what makes me a leader and a person that people look to when they feel despair.

It doesn’t mean that I’m not prone to despair, too. But no matter how grim things can get in my mind, I face them. Expressing my fear, my desperation and hopelessness, but still staying the course is my strength. Looking at that in times of difficulty as beating a dead horse rather than seeing it as unwavering dedication is okay–I’m human. And being human, vulnerable, is what makes me a good mom, a good leader, a good writer.

So it’s in this knowledge that I say there is a time when being flexible isn’t an option. As a leader, it is my job to see the forest for the trees, and to look up from the rocks at my feet and climb over the boulder in front of me. As a mom it’s my job to show my kids that having a bottom line that is absolutely solid and unquestionable is courageous. It’s okay for me to say, “No. This is what I need for me. My self-care is crucial for me to keep being the me that you need, and the absolute pinnacle of my self-care is knowing that there iare some things that I not only can’t give up, I won’t give up.”

Writing and being the person to challenge ideas and rules and make my own is at the core of my being. It is who I am, not just part of who I am. Everything else stems from those things.

The idea of sacrificing those things was me internally saying I would die for my family’s betterment. Because stopping this passion to go back to an environment that stripped me of myself is a death sentence–it physically nearly killed me before, more than once, and mentally I still survived. Emotionally I bottomed out, long-term, and yet I still managed to write. I couldn’t stop.

I actually thought in my head and gave in for a few days there, that I would just work myself to death because I gave it a go, and writing didn’t work. But I was wrong to think that a dream has an expiration date. I refuse to allow it to. I’m Wolverine when he faces the torrent of wounds that Dark Phoenix throws at him, and still he trudges forward, knowing there is no other way. No compromise. I’m some historical general that drove his soldiers to near extinction and utter hatred of him, and still stayed the course. Fanatical, maybe. Driven. Determined.

Unafraid.

Absolutely.

When the Dream Is Still a Dream by Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin Donuts White Peppermint Something or Other

By Julie

I’m lucky enough to hear often that I inspire people. To hear that makes me stronger, and I’m already pretty strong. But I feel weak often, and that’s okay too.

For all the wonderful people that tell me how much my optimism in times of difficulty is inspirational, know that there are many times I don’t want to go on.

Know that there are many times I get impatient with waiting for an agent to love my book.

Know that there are days I spend more time crying than not crying.

The worst of this is that I truly do not get saddened by rejections from literary agents. I write what I need to write, and I’m not looking for approval. Same goes for my occasional bad review. That stuff is par for the course, and I love the course! The hardest part of being a writer for a living is that it’s not always a living. It’s like any self-employed person goes through, of course. You don’t turn a profit for a while. I’M okay with that. Seeing what it does to my family because we aren’t financially stable is what hurts. Knowing that I can’t throw the big birthday party for my kids  partly because I’m working for the greater good, but partly because I’m selfish and afraid NOT to write for a living. The idea of going back to work is absolutely terrifying to me. I’ve only recently seen my nightmares subside about working. So when seeing that my husband works more because I can’t, it hurts. When I don’t run things fantastically well at home all the time, I feel horribly guilty and wonder who I’m helping by being at home with the kids. Not being able to have enough money in the bank to see my husband be able to breathe a sigh of relief is partly my fault, and at one point I will need to remedy it–get a full-time job and stop writing–because I cannot do both and pay proper attention to my family–or make writing work.

When it’s impossible to see what MORE I can possibly do to make my writing career succeed, it hurts to acknowledge that there has to be a time when I say it’s affecting my family the wrong way. That quitting my job to live the dream would have been nice if the dream came true. That I tried. God, I hate TRYING. Do or do not, there is no try. And I don’t want to stop, but it looms overhead that someday I may need to. I hate that with more fire inside me than you can imagine.

The moral of the story is, writers’ lives aren’t easy. Sure, it can be rough to get rejections and bad reviews, but quite honestly I love all of it! I love that stuff because it means I’m making a mark, and that I’m progressing. I’m meeting my quota, getting my initiation. I would be perfectly happy having my cult following forever, never getting a huge book deal if my family didn’t suffer for it. I don’t write to be rich, but I do need to contribute. It’s a sad feeling, but sadder is that contribution has to be monetary no matter how much work you put in that has no price on it.

So writers, and all of you who have a bigger plan out there, I understand. I see the guilt, I feel the heartbreak of not having great news for your loved ones, I see the sacrifices. And yes, keep trying. I’ll not stop until I absolutely must. All parts of my fight won’t be pretty ones. But it’s my fight and until it starts falling to my family’s responsibility, I will be happy to wear my armor.

Happy Book Birthday, Shelter Me!

Today’s Brew: who ever knew I’d prefer black coffee???

by Kristen

It’s the new moon, and another Sawtooth Shifter finds his mate. We haven’t heard from the Channings in a few months, and there was no way I’d leave Dallas hanging.

Dallas and Lyssie have been in each other’s sights for a while now. They were together at the shelter when Dallas was rescued, and spent some quality time together while the threat from Ryker loomed large, but they were both gun shy about making a commitment. Let’s be plain about what they were actually doing: being stupid. They were waiting for everything to be perfect before they moved forward, until they learned there is no perfect, there’s only forward, whether we’re ready for it or not.

Sometimes when I read over a story in editing or for whatever reason, I’m in shock that I actually put those words together in that exact way.  Shelter Me is one of those stories. I didn’t realize how much I would identify with Lyssie when I sat down with this story. Like Lyssie, I’m guilty of waiting this perfect thing that doesn’t exist. I like to think of myself as this fearless badass, but sometimes I get punched right in the face with the reality that I’m not.

In the middle of writing Shelter Me, someone tried to burn my apartment building down. There were two small fires intentionally set. No one was hurt, and the fires were caught in time that we didn’t lose any material things. No arrests were ever made.

I couldn’t stay there anymore. That morning, I lost my home. I’m in a new place now. I know I’m lucky, because I was able to move to a nicer place that technically makes a lot more sense for me (much closer to the city for the day job, and no more trips to the dreaded laundromat!). But that feeling of coming back at the end of the day and being able to simply exhale and let go hasn’t followed me here yet. I’m hoping it’s just taking the scenic route, because I miss that feeling. A lot. While I’d known I had to move for a long time, I kept putting up with a lot of unnecessary shit because the devil I knew seemed easier than taking a chance on something new.

That fearless badass is still here. She needed a little kickstart. Just like Lyssie. Making the best of the worst is what makes us appreciate all the little things that make life great.

Shelter Me Teaser 1

Shelter Me isn’t a downer, I promise you. There are tons of light-hearted moments and appearances from our favorite wolves and the Forever Home crew. And of course, some smokin’ hot sex. The Sawtooth Shifters never disappoint in that department.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s some more teasers:

SHELTER ME TEASER 3

SHELTER ME TEASER 2

My next move is definitely to Granger Falls, Idaho. There’s got to be a couple of unattached wolves still roaming Sawtooth. (If only the town really existed!)

ShM_F

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Qh7uuJ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Z91FAY
Amazon AU: http:// http://bit.ly/1ZelODY
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1OccGwy
iBooks: http://apple.co/221P3hj
BN: http://bit.ly/1PiRgeW
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Z88zWZ
ARE: http://bit.ly/1SCXz2c
Google Play: http:// http://bit.ly/1N0IUqz

Check out an excerpt from Shelter Me here.

Haven’t started the series yet?  Forever Home is free.

My Fight

TODAY’S BREW: Starbucks with Kristen

“I’m so sick of having something wrong with me. I don’t even want to talk to anyone, I feel like it’s all they see.”

This was my text to Kristen this morning, and the real reason why I haven’t been blogging. Yes, a vacation to enjoy the holidays with my family–which I did, I really, really did. Despite All The Things Wrong With Me.

You don’t see it here much. And I try not to talk about it much, because even though every woman on the planet has a period, I still feel like it’s something we hide. And of course we feel that way, but that’s another blog post.

This one is about how I forever have some weird goddamn thing wrong with me, often related, sometimes not, nobody knows and it keeps getting worse. And now it’s just plain crippling. Let’s give you the December Weirdness which brought it to a whole new level.

The week before Christmas I had a hairy-feeling throat. Like someone had waxed their legs and somehow that wax strip ended up in my throat and I had the sniffles. Didn’t hurt, I could swallow, eat, but my tongue was white and it felt like Chewbacca throat. Weird enough that I went to the clinic, afraid it was a thing I could give to my kids. My throat was all red, but my tonsils were good, I didn’t have strep, no fever, was hydrated, taking allllllll my vitamins (of which there are many), and had a good temp and blood pressure.  That lasted for two days. Then gone, like none of it ever happened. Throat all better, nose clear.

The next two days I had such physical soreness on both sides that I couldn’t be touched. The kids couldn’t hug me, it hurt to wear clothes. I had the occasional stabbing pain in my left side. Figuring kidney infection? Though I had none of the other symptoms at all, I called the doctor who insisted I go to urgent care. The lovely, wonderful doctor there (who said something to me I’m not likely to forget: “you’re minimizing your pain. Don’t minimize your pain.”), tried so hard to figure out what was wrong. I had the best blood pressure I’ve ever had, no temp, no other pain, same as before. But because of my shortness of breath the two days earlier, he ordered me to immediately go to the hospital and get a chest x-ray, bloodwork, and a kidney ultrasound. Made me an appointment for an hour after, and boy that was fun, getting the kids from school and finding someone to watch them through that. By the time I got to the hospital the stabbing pains in my side had me crying out in pain while waiting for my stuff to get done.

And guess what? Everything was normal. Yaaaaaaay, right?

Then I figure out that it all happened with the timing of when I usually suffer PMDD. This is a Feels Like It’s Made Up premenstrual disorder that I am the absolute poster girl for, right down to the occasional thoughts of suicide coinciding with my period. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_dysphoric_disorder

My symptoms generally start about 10 days before my period and disappear like magic after it. But this? Pain that lands me in the hospital for 5 hours the day before Christmas eve? And this time, the emotional symptoms didn’t go away, when surprise, two days after they started, the kidney thing did go away.

Every month like clockwork I suffer debilitating anxiety and depression for two days at the start of my period or the two days before. It causes me to villainize the people I love most for the most minor thing, which then convinces me they don’t love me, and then I tell them to go away and find someone better to spend their time with. Often this leads to suicidal thoughts, it always leads to utter hopelessness, where everything contributes to my sadness from the washing machine leaking to getting a rejection letter. All of it adds up to not having a life worth living except for that people depend on me. It’s not how I feel any other time of the month generally, and even though I see it coming, I can do nothing to stop it. I guess that happens when you have “an unhealthy amount of bleeding” monthly that just plain comes with having a fibroid in your uterus that nobody wants to remove.

If it seems like I’m rambling, it’s because the anxiety still has not dissipated and I can’t focus on anything at all. Making me more anxious. Usually getting out of the house helps, but this month it made me a disaster. I was twitchy, nervous, kept dropping things, couldn’t concentrate. Still feel that way. I had an actual dream of dropping the peanut butter jar and woke myself jumping up to grab it. I can’t slow my head down. And to this minute I’m taking the 800mg ibuprofen prescribed to me for the kidney pain to deal with the breast tenderness that is worse than the kidney pain was.

This all can be attributed to my hormones, maybe? But then I start thinking of the extensive list of other things that have gone wrong with me that have doctors rubbing their hands with experimental delight when I enter the office. Things I’ve never gotten answers to. High prolactin levels that had me getting brain scans and taking tumor shrinking meds–when I didn’t have a tumor. The sudden appearance of an uber rare fibroid tumor that had to be removed immediately. A sickening burning pain under my ribs that we inspected with tubes in every part of my body, to find nothing. Rectocoele, which happens during childbirth, not to be discovered often for months or years later–except I had my kids by C-section.

Emotionally, this has left me feeling like The Girl Who Never Shuts Up, The Girl Who Never Has Good News, The Girl Who Cries Medical Problem, and The Girl Who Feels Really, Really Happy Just Being Who I Am, But Is Constantly Kicked In The Lady Parts.

I’m finally now getting to a point where the illness is my life, not just part of it. I’ve always been very proud that I can smile through sickness, of which I’ve had plenty not even listed here, and that it doesn’t stop me. Now, it’s stopping me. Stopping me from feeling like a worthwhile human. Stopping me from being unstoppable. I can deal with any amount of pain if I can see the end in sight, if I know it’s being solved. Now, I just wait to see what will happen next. It’s making me a sad person. I get sad, like all people do, but I’ve never been a sad person. I don’t want to be.

There’s no uplifting message to this blog, guys. There’s not a moral or a joke at the end. I’m feeling defeated, and the only thing holding me down is that I don’t want to live like a wounded person. I want to be strong. And I can’t. Hopefully for the next year on this blog you’ll see that disappear and see the old Julie come back. But fighting is something we all have to do, and this is my fight.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday, Celebrate Me!

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Undead Duo is on vacation!  We have stockings to stuff and cocoa to spike. We’ll catch you in the new year!  

Happy book birthday to Delaney and Shea! It’s Christmas in Sawtooth Forest!

This one feels like it’s been a long time coming, and in a way, it has. I’ve always written, but more importantly, I’ve always told myself stories.  When I couldn’t sleep because I was stressed out about things I couldn’t fix in the middle of the night, I made up characters and a plot to get my mind off my shiz. Originally that story was Callie and Tristan from Because the Night, but once I wrote their story, I had to find a new couple, because anything I came up with I had to write down for later use.

Enter Delaney and Shea.  I told myself I’d never write their story, because I needed something that belonged to me.  But when I created the story arc for Sawtooth Shifters, I knew they’d fit perfectly for the Christmas installment. Celebrate Me was born.

Delaney really surprised me as a character. She wanted this happily ever after.  And if anyone has ever deserved one, it’s Delaney. She has a terrible past but she never gave up. I’d write a scene and she’d do something I’d never expect, but when I read it over, I realized that she really wanted to whatever it was that I didn’t anticipate.  It was an awesome lesson for me, not to make assumptions about what other people want. Not to limit their futures based on their past.

Shea and Delaney are complete opposites on paper, but they really couldn’t be more perfect for one another. Both are misunderstood, both have trouble communicating, and both of them need someone to give them a chance.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

CelM_HR

Shea Lowe has a bad reputation.

After years of throwing punches first and asking questions later, he’s hit a dead end. Notorious in Sawtooth Forest’s underground fighting ring, Shea wants out. Volunteering at Forever Home’s new farm is his only chance of getting another job on a ranch. But first, he’s got to prove that he can be trusted.

Delaney wants a voice.

Selective mutism made it sound like Delaney chose to be silent, but she didn’t choose to spend seven years locked in a cage. Forever Home is the last place she should’ve been sent for rehabilitation. But when a reckless, misunderstood werewolf treats her in a way she’s only dreamed possible, she realizes there’s no place else she’d rather be.

Delaney shows Shea that actions speak louder than words, and he vows to give her the one thing she’s never had–a joy filled Christmas with a real family. But Delaney must decide if she can accept Shea’s past if they have any chance at a future.

This is an EXPANDED VERSION of Celebrate Me (originally featured in Sugar, Spice, and Shifters)… More Shea, more Delaney, more Sawtooth Shifters! Includes deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1WKxMDX
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1IRa1sT
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1IRMlV6
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1Z9RCM7
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Y24D9K
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1OBEX28
BN: http://bit.ly/1O4IxCq
aRe: http://bit.ly/1RjUCDZ
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1YcUQRN

celebrate me teaser 1

cELEBRATE ME TEASER 2

CELebrate me teaser 4

 

Introducing: Julie Hutchings

I love talking about myself.

Author's Crossing

Happy Tuesday all!! I want you all to meet the awesome Julie Hutchings! I have gotten to know her through twitter, bought her books and they are waiting to be read. She is such an exciting person! So sit back and get to know her with me.

Julie Hutchings Julie Hutchings

About the Author Julie Hutchings:

Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, gives you vampires with a Japanese mythology pants kicking is available through Books of the Dead Press. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts and pizza like some turtles we know. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.

unnamed-17

RUNNING HOME http://www.amazon.com/Running-Home-ebook/dp/B00EEG42IM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376060063&sr=8-1&keywords=Running+Home+julie+hutchings

RUNNING AWAY http://www.amazon.com/Running-Away-Julie-Hutchings-ebook/dp/B00NXCDUJK/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51DbZvdaqfL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1K7NDPHRKDJS84Z47NEE

View original post 1,645 more words

Julie Gets Sappy About Living the Dream

TODAY’S BREW: Chocolate Cappuccino Something or Other

By Julie

Work/Life Balance is this unicorn everyone is always chasing, correct?

I finally have it.

I almost said I “think” I finally have it, but no. I do. I have it. At least for now. I might lose it again, but looking for it is fun, too. Trying to achieve is never a bad feeling. Exhausting, sure. But not bad.

Last night a book club in my neighborhood that’s been meeting for twelve years brought me to dinner (lobster ravioli and harvest sangria), and these wonderful women not only read RUNNING HOME, but loved it. We talked books, and the neighborhood, and kids, and I talked shop about being an author and that it’s what I’ve always wanted to do my entire life, and that I went to school for it, and that I had a great job and I got rid of it and we laughed and I was so happy. So grateful.

It’s one thing to be recognized in the world of publishing as a solid author. It’s another thing when your neighbors and the community you live in recognize that this is YOU.

Yesterday afternoon after school one of Bennett’s classmates came up to me and said, “I learned today that you’re a writer and you’re coming to talk to my class.” My heart stopped as it does every time one of these kids finds this out.

Friday I get to go to Bennett’s class and talk for an hour about drafting. They came home with packets about how a particular author they’re reading developed her novel through five drafts. I get to show these incredible kids and their incredible teacher that there’s not just one way to write the story you want to write. Everyone has their own process, everyone finds it on their own by trying. That getting it “wrong” in the first draft is an illusion–that the first draft is telling yourself the story, and every draft after that is about making it what you want it to be. Drafting, editing, revising–it isn’t about fixing what’s wrong. It’s about knowing what you want it to be and shaping it to be that. By your standards and nobody else’s.

I do a lot in a day. It’s not always easy, but greatness rarely is. Greatness by my standard–no one else’s. I get to bring my babies to school every day and bring them home. I got to carve pumpkins with Sam’s class on Friday, and host a giant trick or treating parade Saturday night. I learned that a novel I edited was nominated for the Bath Novel Award. I made scrapbooks with my kids and watched movies all weekend and write in short spurts, making every word count. Every single day we go to the park after school and my kids and their little troupe leave the swings behind and play in the woods, and their parents and I have made these amazing friendships while our kids play together. And while I worry about Christmas money and car inspections and new tires and rent, I remember that amazing literary agents are reading my latest novel, one that I believe strongly in, and growth comes with growing pains. And I remember that living the dream is exactly that–living it. Not getting it. But getting there. I want all these things: the bonding, the creativity, the time, the comfort. I’ve worked for it, I’ll work to keep it, and I’ll work to make it better all the time. Success for me comes in succeeding, and in all the steps it takes to get there. Feeling all the rocks underfoot in the road and smiling at the potholes. The potholes are deep, but my strength runs deeper.

Work/Life Balance isn’t just about time for me. It’s about meaning. Doing something meaningful myself, showing my family and community that they’re a part of that every step of the way. Seeing all the parts form the whole. The whole is my standard, and no one else’s.

Addictions of the Eternal–The Saving

Today’s Brew: Pumpkin Spice

Today we have a special guest. JC Stockli is a fellow member of NECRWA and she writes dark and twisty paranormal. Right up everyone’s alley around here.  Check out her new release, The Saving, and if you haven’t read The Nothingness yet, well, what are you waiting for? *stares at you awkwardly*

The Saving (digital cover)9.30.15

“Have you found the light, or have you fallen?”

Evie’s life can never be the same as long as the Sempiternal continue to call out from the depths. She’s in limbo, too ignorant and afraid of the future Lucca has planned with her. She’s left Fallhaven, set adrift in a new city, and fighting more than withdrawal. Evan has become her constant companion, committed to assimilating Evie to a clean, mortal life, but at what cost?

Though he fights to help her conquer her demons, still she struggles with her cravings for Lucca’s nothingness. How can she move on when there can be no light to her days without the darkness of his nights?

Buy Links:
Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.to/1MsWSb1

About JC Stockli:
Choose your poison: Paranormal Fantasy • Romantic Horror • Dark Fantasy With A Twist

J.C. Stockli is inspired by music, the past, and possibilities. Happily Ever Afters are only achieved through the cost of some blood, guts, or a soul or two… if at all.

Also an established full-time professional with her MBA, over the years she’s moonlighted as a magician’s assistant, a roadie for a heavy metal band, a dance fitness instructor. She’s even dressed up as a promotional character at public events. She’s a current member of RWA’s Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal (FF&P) and New England (NECRWA) chapters, loves to dabble in cover design, and feels passionately about the power of authors supporting other authors.

She lives along the Massachusetts coast with her husband and two children. You’ll likely find them dancing around the house, tearing up the dirt, or out on the water soaking in the sun and breathing in the sea salt air.

Follow Links:
Blog: www.jcstockli.com
Twitter: @JCStockli (www.twitter.com/JCStockli)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JCStockli
Pinterest: www.pinerest.com/JCStockli
Instagram: www.instagram.com/JCStockli
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/JCStockli
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104368458709668352159/posts

 

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 504 other followers