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Dream Goals Challenge

One of my favorite things to talk with people about is how they discovered or how they are in the process of discovering their life’s purpose.

See my post over at Jami Gold’s site to read what I went through to discover mine.

Long story short, by the time I hit my 30th birthday, I could already see my life’s path and it was going down a direction I never intended.

Since then, I’ve become passionate about helping other discover and hold true to their life’s purpose. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain who said:

“THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE ARE THE DAY YOU ARE BORN AND THE DAY YOU FIND OUT WHY.”

WHAT’S YOUR WHY?

Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s going back to school to get the degree you should have gotten. Maybe it’s something that terrifies and excites you all at the same time. (By the way, that’s how you know you’re on the right track.)

But once you figure it out, you can’t let it remain a dream you fantasize about.

BE YOUR OWN FAIRY GODMOTHER.

The only way to turn dreams into reality (and there’s no magic wand here) is to set achievable goals and work towards them.

THE FRIDAY DREAM GOALS CHALLENGE.

Will you join me?

Post in the comments below the ONE THING you are doing this weekend to work toward turning your dream into reality. Just ONE THING every weekend will soon have you running down the path to achieving your life’s purpose.

C’mon – it’s just one thing! It could take five minutes, it could take an hour. The important part is that you do your one thing!

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHALLENGE:

  1. Enter your Dream Goal by Midnight Friday in the comments below.
  2. Sign up for my newsletter.
  3. Share this post with friends and family and ask them to support your dream by liking your comment!

WIN A CONSCIOUS INK TEMPORARY TATTOO PACK

You-Have-Wings...-Rumi_580x@2xyou-have-wings-learn-to-use-them-and-fly-rumi_580x@2xOn March 31, the person with the most goals posted will win a pack of temporary tattoos from Conscious Ink. *In case of a tie, tied entries will be entered into a random winner generator.

Dream Goals Challenge

One of my favorite things to talk with people about is how they discovered or how they are in the process of discovering their life’s purpose.

See my post over at Jami Gold’s site to read what I went through to discover mine.

Long story short, by the time I hit my 30th birthday, I could already see my life’s path and it was going down a direction I never intended.

Since then, I’ve become passionate about helping other discover and hold true to their life’s purpose. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain who said:

“THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE ARE THE DAY YOU ARE BORN AND THE DAY YOU FIND OUT WHY.”

WHAT’S YOUR WHY?

Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s going back to school to get the degree you should have gotten. Maybe it’s something that terrifies and excites you all at the same time. (By the way, that’s how you know you’re on the right track.)

But once you figure it out, you can’t let it remain a dream you fantasize about.

BE YOUR OWN FAIRY GODMOTHER.

The only way to turn dreams into reality (and there’s no magic wand here) is to set achievable goals and work towards them.

THE FRIDAY DREAM GOALS CHALLENGE.

Will you join me?

Post in the comments below the ONE THING you are doing this weekend to work toward turning your dream into reality. Just ONE THING every weekend will soon have you running down the path to achieving your life’s purpose.

C’mon – it’s just one thing! It could take five minutes, it could take an hour. The important part is that you do your one thing!

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHALLENGE:

  1. Enter your Dream Goal by Midnight Friday in the comments below.
  2. Sign up for my newsletter.
  3. Share this post with friends and family and ask them to support your dream by liking your comment!

WIN A CONSCIOUS INK TEMPORARY TATTOO Pack

You-Have-Wings...-Rumi_580x@2xyou-have-wings-learn-to-use-them-and-fly-rumi_580x@2xOn March 31, the person with the most goals posted will win a pack of temporary tattoos from Conscious Ink. *In case of a tie, tied entries will be entered into a random winner generator.

Resolution

The coffee shop buzzes around me and my best friend, Kris. The regulars are oblivious to the fact that my best friend may have gone loony. I stare into the clear jar she’s placed on the table, full of tiny paper slips. Pink and orange and blue folded paper fill the jar like tiny fortune cookies, supposedly written with the memories of the past year.

“Seriously, Kris. What on earth…?”

Kris, blonde and typically put together, shakes her frizzy curls and runs her wrinkled silk scarf through her fingers once again. “I don’t know. Beth, this is the weirdest thing. I spent all year writing everything that happened on the pieces of paper. Saw it on Pinterest. I put them in the jar and started taking them out this morning, New Year’s morning, and it’s like they never happened.”

“I don’t understand.”

Kris sucks in air and presses her lips together. She takes a moment, bites her lip like she does when she’s picking which guy to hit on at the bar, and lets her breath go.

“Okay. Open the jar.” She pushes the mason jar toward me with one press-on nail, as if she’s afraid to make skin-to-glass contact.

I wrap my hand around the pink gingham covered lid and twist. The lid resists, then pops and releases its stronghold on the jar. Scents wash over me and for a millisecond, I relive some of the past year. The day Kris and I went ring browsing, just in case Tag popped the big Q to me on Valentine’s. Drinks with Kris the night after Tag dumped me and jumped up and down on my heart, making sure to burst every single artery. Kris bringing me flowers and pouring the vase full of water on my head when I refused to get up and shower.

A year of memories of my best friend saving my life.

I lick the sudden nervous-sour taste off my lips. What if she isn’t making this up? What if taking out these slips really does make it as if the memory never happened? What if this jar can erase the past?

“Pick one. Just one Beth, okay. And try to make it a small one. Or a really bad one.” Kris wraps her hands around her teacup and holds so tight her rings scrape against the porcelain.

I reach in and pull out a small blue slip.

Kris shoves her hands under her legs and rocks back and forth.

“Do it.” She says and closes her eyes.

I open the slip.

March 27th, 2013; Dad died today. I’m going to miss him, but I’m so glad he’s not suffering anymore. What does a little girl do without her daddy?

I remember that day. Kris had called me crying and then…

My mind goes blank. I try and reach for the memory I know I was just having, but…

Nothing.

I read the slip again.

Kris’s dad died?

The loud murmurs of the coffee house fade away until all I can hear is Kris’s staggered breathing, all I can see is her too still posture, all I can know is this-is-impossible.

“Kris, March 27th. Do you remember what happened?”

“Nu-uh. Why? Is it bad? What happened?” She grips the edge of the table, her hot-rod red nails strain against the fake wood.

My heart lodges behind my knees and a giant fist punches the inside of my throat. “Your dad died.” My voice scrapes out as a whisper.

“Dad…no, he’s still in the hosp–” her words fall into oblivion and I can see her searching for the truth, but, just like my own memory, it’s gone. Truth has disappeared, taking our memories hostage.

I slide the blue slip across the table to her, so she can see, in her own handwriting, her father’s death.

“Oh my God.” Kris hovers her fingers above the slip, not touching, as if touching would somehow make it more real than it already is.

“Maybe we can put it back in the jar, and you’ll remember again.”

She shakes her head. “I’ve already tried that. I-I’ve gotta call Mom. Maybe she remembers.”

But she wouldn’t. From what I’d seen, that jar made everyone forget. The past ceases to exist.

*****
I sit the jar on my kitchen table, after Kris insisted I take it home with me. The jar scared her. And since she was the more accident-prone of the two of us, she thought it’d be safer with me. On the top shelf of my closet. In a box. With a lock.

But here it sits. On my kitchen table.

I fold my arms on the table, rest my cheek on my hands, and look through the glass. Between the gaps in the papers, I can just make out a picture on the other side of the room. The one of me and Tag at Disneyworld. He had put a princess hat on my head and told me he’d make me his queen.

That was before he found some other princess to screw.

I get up, yank a glass out of the cabinet, and fill it with grape juice colored wine. So what if it’s ten in the morning. If it looks like grape juice, then I say it’s grape juice.

The wine hits the back of my throat with a slight burn. It’s about a week old and a little rancid, but who cares. It’s New Year’s Day and I’m alone, ringless, and manless. I down the full glass like a double shot.

“Round two, anyone?” I eye the two stuffed animals Tag won for me at last year’s carnival. “Just me then? Party poopers.” I fill the glass again and plop onto the couch next to Bonnie and Clyde, also known as Party Poopers One and Two.

I grab Bonnie by her hot pink tail and hug her bear body to mine. My apartment is filled with memories of Tag.

“Tagged by Tag,” I giggle and hiccup. Wine must get stronger with age.

I eye the jar. I knew, the minute I took the jar from Kris, that I would do this. Erase Tag, erase this past year, erase the good and the bad. Because if there was no good with Tag, then the bad wasn’t bad. And if even the bad was gone, then maybe, I could start over.

For the past year, I’d been stuck in an endless loop of having my heart broken every morning I woke up without Tag by my side. Every night I tried to avoid going to sleep, because I knew I’d only wake up having to remember he was gone.

I should be glad and I should be ready to move on. But when you give your heart so completely to someone else, sometimes, you never get it back.

This was the only way.

The only way to save my life. To get a life.

I take another drink, grab my notebook, and write.

April 12; Meeting Tag at the bar.
June 16; Tag said he loved me.
September 21; Tag moved in.
December 25; Christmas at Disneyworld with Tag.
February 14; Tag dumps me; admits he’s found someone else.
February 20; Found Tag banging my boss in her office.
February 21; Quit my job because of Tag.
January 1; Every memory associated with Tag. I want, I need him, to be erased.

I get tired of writing it all down. The last one should take care of the rest.

I tear each memory into a little strip. Eight memories written on white lined paper, folded into less than a handful of slips. Eight memories that had taken the power to control my own heart.

Eight memories I could erase and get my life back.

I stuff them in the jar and screw the lid on tight. Refill my glass. Watch a movie to give the jar some time to work its magic, or whatever. Watch another movie to procrastinate. Start in on a new bottle of wine.

Three p.m.

Time to take control of my life.

*****
Four p.m. My apartment seems strangely empty. Photos of my trip to Disneyworld last year, stuffed animals I won at the carnival, everything seems in place. But something is missing.

I look down at the table. Seven blank strips of paper are unfolded on the table.

One strip of paper has something written on it.

Every memory associated with_____. I want, I need him, to be erased.

I picked up the phone and call Kris.

“Hey, it’s me. If I were to erase a guy from my memory, who would it be?”

“Beth, you didn’t.”

“Apparently I did.” The room started to waver. “And apparently I’ve had too much to drink.”

“It’s not even five yet.”

“Yup.” I hiccup.

“I’ll be there in twenty.”

Fifteen minutes later, Kris unlocks my front door and walks in, not even bothering to knock. I’m laying on the couch, staring at the ceiling, and tossing a hot pink bear into the air with my feet.

“You stupid idiot. Why would you do this?”

“I guess I thought it was a good idea at the time.”

She walks over to the table and picks up the slips of paper. “Even his name is erased from the slips. So we don’t know who he is, what he looks like, nothing.”

“Yup,” I laugh. “I think it’s a good thing, though. I haven’t felt this happy in forever. We’re going out tonight. And I’m wearing that red leather skirt you bought me last year.”

“Why would I buy you a red leather skirt?”

“Who cares?” I jump up from the couch and twirl into the bedroom. “Where’d you get that jar, anyway?”

“Back of some antique shop. I think I should’ve left it there. Damn Pinterest.”

*****
“Beth! Kris! My little chicas!” Sam, the bartender older than the ancient margarita machine, clears a space for us at the bar. “Haven’t seen my two favorite senoritas in too long. Where have you been?”

“We’ve been cheating on you, Sam. Going to the Corner Bar for the past few months.” Kris wiggles her hips onto the barstool.

He grabs his chest. “No, mi amor!”

“Don’t worry. We’ll never leave you again.” I speak up and scoot onto the empty seat next to Kris. My leather skirt rides up my legs and earns a few glances from the group of guys playing pool.

I turn away. Tonight’s girl’s night. But tomorrow’s a new day.

“Can I buy you a drink?”

A warm male voice tickles my cheek. I turn and fall into a pair of hazel eyes.

“Hmmm…” I pull away and take a good look at him. Tall, goes to the gym, but doesn’t live there, can put an outfit together but nothing too metro. Cute. Not bad at all. “I’m not sure yet.”

He smiles and my heart does a quick two-step. “What’s your name?”

“Beth. Yours?”

“Tag.”

“Strange name. I’ve got a bad feeling about you, Tag.” I say, and strangely enough, I kind of do.

“Funny. I feel if you don’t let me buy you this drink, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”

“Well, since you put it that way. Sam, this gentleman will be buying my drinks this evening.”

“Whatever you say, chica.”

Sam slides our drinks across the counter.

Kris raises her glass. “A toast. To a Happy New Year, and new beginnings.”

“And may the past be a memory, best forgotten,” I add.

Clink.

Dream Goals Challenge

One of my favorite things to talk with people about is how they discovered or how they are in the process of discovering their life’s purpose.

See my post over at Jami Gold’s site to read what I went through to discover mine.

Long story short, by the time I hit my 30th birthday, I could already see my life’s path and it was going down a direction I never intended.

Since then, I’ve become passionate about helping other discover and hold true to their life’s purpose. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain who said:

“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

What’s your why?

Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s going back to school to get the degree you should have gotten but didn’t due to X, Y, or Z. Maybe it’s something that terrifies and excites you all at the same time. (By the way, that’s how you know you’re on the right track.)

But once you figure it out, you can’t let it remain a dream you fantasize about.

Be Your Own Fairy Godmother.

The only way to turn dreams into reality (and there’s no magic wand here) is to set achievable goals and work towards them.

The Friday Dream Goals Challenge.

Will you join me?

Post in the comments below the ONE THING you are doing this weekend to work toward turning your dream into reality. Just ONE THING every weekend will soon have you running down the path to achieving your life’s purpose.

C’mon – it’s just one thing! It could take five minutes, it could take an hour. The important part is that you do your one thing!

To Participate in the Challenge:

  1. Enter your Dream Goal by Midnight Friday in the comments below.
  2. Return on Monday, reply to your Dream Goal comment, and let us know how you did!
  3. Sign up for my newsletter.
  4. Share this post with friends and family and ask them to support your dream by liking your comment!

Win a Conscious Ink Temporary Tattoo

You-Have-Wings...-Rumi_580x@2xyou-have-wings-learn-to-use-them-and-fly-rumi_580x@2xOn January 2, the person with the most goals posted and met will win this temporary tattoo from Conscious Ink. *In case of a tie, tied entries will be entered into a random winner generator.

 

 

Psychological Suspense Inspiration while Parasailing

While in Mexico, I found inspiration for my Psychological Suspense Novel

While in Mexico, I had a serendipitous run-in with a jet ski.

Really, it was more of a battle between the ocean and my ribs. The ocean used the jet ski as a battering ram and it totally won.

The serendipitous part…I’ll get to that in a second.

Here’s what happened:

My husband decided to take me parasailing for the first time while in Mexico for our anniversary. It was really sweet, but (there’s always a but) as we stood on the beach with the waves crashing at our feet, waiting for the jet ski taxi to take us to the parasailing boat, I began to have doubts.

See, I’m the most accident prone individual you will ever meet.

If someone in a group is going to be hurt, it’s going to be me. For example, my dad and brother used to hunt when we were growing up. They’d bring back quail, and I’d bite into the one bullet left in all of the meat. Every time. Not just once, but every single time. If there’s something to stub your toe on in a mile radius, I’ll find it for you. Bang your hip? I’ll test it out. Bird poop on you? They got to me, first.

So when I saw this little jet ski fighting the big ocean waves, and it was supposed to carry a large Mexican driver, myself, and my husband, I began to get anxious.

The jet ski rolls in on a wave. There are two people holding it in place, and my husband is steadying the back. “Go on, Christina,” they said. “You get on first.”

They all missed my eye roll. But, I got on. Blindly trusting these three strong men to hold this one jet ski in place. What’s the worst that could happen? Three against one. The odds were in my favor.

Except…it’s me.

The ocean decided to throw an extra large wave at us as soon as I reached for the jet ski. The jet ski rammed into my side, flipped me over, feet in the air, and hit me three more times. Somehow, I grappled onto the thing.

It was already hard to catch my breath. I knew, like my aching knees know when the weather is changing, I knew, this was going to hurt for days. But, I had a few hours left before the pain really sat in.

We went parasailing. It was fine. Peaceful high in the sky above the Caribbean blue water, whatever. My ribs hurt.

They hurt bad.

We got down, boarded the jet ski taxi of death, and rode back to the beach without another incident. Probably the universe had decided almost cracking my ribs was enough for one day.

By dinner, my entire side was swollen. The phrase baseball-sized hail kept coming into my mind. It hadn’t started bruising…yet. I couldn’t breathe deep, couldn’t laugh, couldn’t even sleep. My whole side radiated with pain.

And I was so, so grateful.

See, I have this character in my psychological suspense novel, Traveler. Her name, sometimes his name, is Jesse David. She / He is a fluid-gender adult on vacation with her / his abusive mother. At one point in the book, the mother crushes her cane into Jesse’s side, cracking her ribs.

But, the scene has been bothering me. I couldn’t have Jesse’s ribs actually crack. Jesse needs to do things which require physical effort to complete the story. Cracked ribs turn into broken ribs turn into punctured lungs…that didn’t work.

My jet ski incident helped me understand that bruised ribs are horrible. Horrible enough to cause a lot of pain and discomfort, but not so horrible that a person is temporarily disabled.

For a writer, every experience is writing fodder. Even almost being killed by a runaway jet ski.

I’ve used emergency room visits, being hooked up to an IV, being covered in vomit…all these horrible musts of life, I’ve used in a book.

And honestly, it makes the going through of the pain much easier to deal with, because by focusing on each little owie of pain from a writing perspective, it gives the pain purpose. Meaning.

Instead of just being an accident-prone being living on earth, I’m an accident-prone writer who can use these so called accidents to torture my characters with.

Misery really does love company.

What about you? Are you accident-prone? What are some ways you cope with being known as the person who will trip over their own feet? (Seriously, I’m looking for coping mechanisms!)

Young Adult Book Club

BookLore July Book Club Meeting

Young Adult Book Club
Welcome to our July book club meeting! We’re discussing all things about Red Queen! It’s a BYOQ kind of day, so post your own questions and let’s get some fun discussion going!

And don’t forget – there’s a FREE BOOK up for grabs for all my commentators! Winner will be drawn next Friday, July 15, 2016, so you’ve got all week to join in!

About Red Queen:

Genre: Young Adult Book – Fantasy and Romance

Publisher: HarperTeen

Blurb: Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. There, before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess, and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays the only certainty is betrayal.

New to BookLore? It’s not too late to join!

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So let’s get this book club discussion started! I’ll go first:

What was your favorite quote or passage or scene or moment from the book?

 

Fantasy and Siren Book Club

BookLore Book Club June Meeting

June Book club Meeting
Welcome to our last book club meeting of June! We’re discussing all things about A Court of Thorns and Roses! It’s a BYOQ kind of day, so post your own questions and let’s get some fun discussion going!

 

And don’t forget – there’s a FREE BOOK up for grabs for all my commenters today!

New to BookLore? It’s not too late to join!

Subscribe to BookLore Book Club

* indicates required



So let’s get this book club discussion started!

I’ll go first – Do you see a love triangle forming in the next book? What’s your take on love triangles in books? Love them or hate them or tired of them or can’t get enough?

Fantasy and Siren Book Club

BookLore – Book Magic

When I was little, I was part of this awesome book club. We’d read at lunchtime in the teacher’s breakroom and discuss books like Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time or A Wind in the Door. It was a time of magic and imagination… a select group of kids who loved to read. We could totally geek out and no one cared.

I miss that time.

So Jenn Windrow and I have created BookLore. An online book club where you get to geek out. And stay in your pj’s or yoga pants or whatever. It’s the best of the reading world, really.

Will you come read with us?

It’s easy to sign up – just fill out the form below. You’ll receive a monthly newsletter and get access to freebies and giveaways. We’ll discuss the books on our blogs. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be geeky.

It’s going to be bangarang.

We’ll start reading our first book together in May. Between now and then, we’ve got some fun news and exciting giveaways…but you have to sign up to get them!

Sign up today and we’ll enter you in a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card! So basically…read for free! What book are we reading?? Keep…well…reading…

 

Become a BookLore Member!

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BookLore Book of the Month – May 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses: by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.


Race the Darkness: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

I’m so excited to be part of Abbie Roads‘ cover reveal for Race the Darkness! It’s a dark, gritty, emotional and sexy romantic suspense by an uber-talented debut author! Read to the end for an excerpt!

Race the Darkness, a Gritty Romantic Suspense

From Sourcebooks

First in a gripping paranormal romantic suspense duo by a Golden Heart finalist debut author whose clinical work gives her chilling insights…

Cursed with a terrible gift

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

That threatens to engulf them…

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

About Abbie Roads, Romantic Suspense Author

Abbie Roads, Romantic Suspense Author

Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark, emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have finaled in RWA contests including the Golden Heart. Race the Darkness is the first book in the Fatal Dreams series of dark, gritty romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Race the Darkness will be available on October 4th. Pre-order now!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/22nGnVk
B&N: http://bit.ly/1pwghOK
BAM: http://bit.ly/1RmOgoN

 

A special note from Abbie Roads:

Dear Readers,

I wrote Race the Darkness from start to finish three different times, with three different story lines, and with three different titles! The only thing that ever remained the same between the versions was Xander and Isleen. I believed in them and the story they wanted to tell. I hope you love reading about their tragedies and triumphs as much as I enjoyed writing them… All three times! And isn’t the cover amazing, beautiful, gorgeous? I cried the first time I saw it! It made all the hard work to get this book to you worth it!

Abbie Roads

An excerpt from Race the Darkness:

No fucking way was he going to die running. He stopped, turned and faced the truck barreling toward them. The tires ate up the ground at an indecent rate. He clutched Isleen tighter to his chest. For her sake, he wanted it to be a quick death. No more lingering. No more pain.

That thought infuriated him. None of this was right. They shouldn’t be on the verge of death. Again.

The truck kept coming—twenty-five feet.

Everything slowed, happened as if through the quicksand of time. A white dandelion floaty meandered on the breeze directly between them and the truck. His heart no longer ran a staccato rhythm. Duh…duhm. Pause. Duh…duhm. Pause.

His life didn’t flash before his eyes. The future did. Isleen’s future. In an ethereal dream beyond time, her skin was gilded by firelight, her eyes void of sadness and fear, her body whole and healthy. She smiled, an expression so full of warmth and tenderness and undiluted joy that it plunked itself down inside his heart and wouldn’t leave.

He ached to create that kind of smile on her face, but their lives were over and it all could’ve gone so differently if he’d only listened to her, believed in her, found her years before now.

 

**Sign up for Abbie Roads NEWSLETTER for exclusive content and giveaways!**

You can find Abbie Roads here:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE

TWITTER

 

What is Love?

I’ve been reading across a lot of different fiction genres lately and I’ve come to notice something. Love isn’t a predefined thing. With this being the last week of February, the month of looove (said as cheesily as you can imagine in my best Barry White voice), I thought it’d be fun to tackle this little thing that seems to drive humankind.

dare-you-to-book-cover

 

Love in Young Adult Fiction

Best known for its angst, drama, and everything else that I love about YA (and writing YA!), love seems best expressed physically. Of course, that makes a ton of sense. Main characters are typically sixteen to eighteen years old. Hormones are raging and you get to experience a lot of firsts. First handholding. First kiss. First date. First boyfriend. First detention for PDA. The list goes on. It’s one of those times that makes your stomach drop when you see the boy you like down the hallway, creeps your heart into your throat when he smiles at you, then smashes your stomach and heart together in a bloody mess when you realize he was smiling at your best friend. Not you.

However, there’s a need I’m seeing for racier, darker, sexier YA love. I wonder if it’s more true to the majority of teens or if it really does sell better than sweet love. Or do teens still appreciate the love that births out of a friendship? And do most teens believe SEX equals love? A book I read recently, Katie McGarry’s DARE YOU TO, tackles this problem in an awesome way. *Spoiler Alert* The two main characters do have sex. BUT, they do so after falling in love, being tested in that love, and then experiencing the doubt of that love after sex. I ‘love’ the way Katie McGarry handled that situation. She shows the complications sex adds to any relationship, especially to a teenage relationship. True to life for a lot of teens I would think. Not Hollywood’s version.

chasing-luck-book-cover

Love in New Adult Fiction

Have you read any New Adult? It’s a rather new category of fiction, but there are some amazing authors emerging from this field. Brinda Berry, author of The Serendipity Series (CHASING LUCK, TEMPTING FATE, and coming soon! SEDUCING FORTUNE), is one of my favorites. Love in New Adult Fiction is a wide range. Given that the main characters are the typical college student age range, eighteen to about twenty-five, most have already had a lot of their firsts. So the love relationship takes more time, usually, to develop. By this time the main characters have more life experience and are also busy finding their own way into the adult world.

Sex and love are still tied together pretty closely, but unlike YA, where there are some boundaries that most authors do not cross when it comes to sex, in NA (New Adult), expect to see a higher heat level. But again, there’s that whole sex and love thing. Sex does sell. It adds tension and provides for a tantalizing build up and a great, impactful moment. But, personally, I enjoy the development of the love relationship better. And when I can believe that the love relationship will last past the final page of the story, I know it  was a love story done right.

TLB cover

Love in Adult Fiction

Adult Fiction is huge with a ton of genres packed into it, so I’m going to focus on the one I know best. I’ve been reading a ton of Women’s Fiction lately to better get the genre voice for my new project, tentatively titled TWELVE YEARS. Is there sex in Women’s Fiction? Yes. Is it heated? Sometimes. Is there a lot of it? Not usually. One of my recent favorites is Kimberly Belle’s, THE LAST BREATH. Check out my review for The Last Breath on Readerlicious, here.

Love in Women’s Fiction is less about the sex and more about the bond. It’s about creating a lifelong relationship, and with that comes sex. Sometimes it’s behind closed doors in the book. Sometimes not. But since Women’s Fiction is about emotional reflection, life changes, and personal growth, love doesn’t have to be the center of the main character’s universe. But when it does fit in, it’s all about how love adds to and challenges the main character in her journey to personal growth. It’s not just about the sex.

Love in Life

love-in-life

It’s pretty neat how closely fiction represents true life. I can remember as a young adult, life was about friends, grades, and boys. Mostly boys. Then in college, less so. Boys took back burner to what I needed out of life. Which was to experience, learn, and grow. I still dated, but it wasn’t the end all, be all to my life.

Now, as a grown woman (who doesn’t feel like a grown woman) married seven years with a toddler, love exudes into every part of my life. Sometimes it is passionate. Sometimes it’s a soft flame. Sometimes it takes the form of a finger-painted giraffe (I think that’s what it is?). I’m still traveling on my journey. Hopefully for a long, long time. Love, I’m sure, will continue to change for me and continue to change me. I hope it continues to grow. I never thought I could love two people as much as I do right now. My husband and daughter grow my heart a little bigger every day. But I also have other loves. Writing. Reading. My friends. Enjoying life. Learning not to stress out as much. Relearning how to rest.

This is a lovely life. There will always be challenges. We will always be on a journey to somewhere or another. But look for the love. It’s there, as fiction and books throughout the ages have proven. Love is timeless. Sometimes we just need to adjust our perspective, our life genre, to see it clearly.

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