Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Writer's Wednesday: Depression and Writing (Part 1)

One of the greatest enemy’s in life is our own bodies.  It doesn’t care if you have plans, goals, a family, or responsibilities.  It will attack you on its own accord, no matter how much you plead for it not to.  And that’s exactly what I have been dealing with since June, my own body attacking me.  There are a range of illnesses our bodies can attack us with: heart attack, stroke, cancer, an array of sicknesses, etc.  What my body decided to attack me with is anxiety. 

It all started with the worst panic attack I’ve ever had in my life.  At first, I thought it was a fluke thing.  But then another one hit, and another one, and then another one.  Finally, after fearing my own body and the possibility of another attack, I went to the doctor.  After several questions and tests, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, something I didn’t know ran in my family until I talked with my dad and he told me our family history. 

After being on some medication and doing all the doctor said, I believed I was going to get better.  Man was I ever wrong.  My symptoms only got worse.  Can you guess what happened as that happened?  If you guessed severe depression, you would be correct.  I got to the point where I was afraid to do anything, suffered from daily migraines, and had at times, considered suicide.  I didn’t want to live this life, a life where I felt afraid of myself and everything around me.  

And of course, it also affected my writing, so much that I barely wrote a 100 words a week.  I continued to try and push through it, making appearances at book events and online.  But little did anyone know of the panic attacks I suffered after the events.  The thought of quitting and disappearing also crossed my mind.  I didn’t, and still have moments, where I feel like I’m never going to forge ahead and finish my current novel and get to those others waiting on me. 

If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety, then I’m sure you know functioning on a daily basis can be challenging.  But after lying in bed one day, soaking my pillow in tears, I decided I had had enough.  It’s been 6 months since all this has started and no progress was being made, no amount of medication or group therapy was helping.  That’s when I found the anxiety and depression workbook.  Daily I am working on the steps provided to get my life back and deal with anxiety and depression before it hits.  So far, it’s been a slow process.  But hey, I wrote this which is over a 100 words, I’d call that progress. 

The downside of my body deciding I needed a total freak out, my next novel DARKEST REACHES release date keeps getting pushed back and personal plans have suffered.  The upside, after learning and experiencing everything I have, my attention is raised to help others who don’t understand, who feel like failures, or feel like there are no options, and to bring anxiety disorders to attention.  There are several factors that can lead to an anxiety disorder, which then leads to depression, which then leads to you shutting down. 

Currently, I am working on a new blog site completely dedicated to anxiety and depression while also trying to finish DARKEST REACHES.  For now, know that it takes baby steps to get back to normal and to work with your body.  Anxiety and depression is a real disorder that has taken too many lives and I don’t want to join the statistics.  I have to keep myself healthy, not only for me, but for my kids as well.  As much as I wish, it’s not something you can “snap out of”.   

I want to thank you all for your understanding and to let you know that I’m trucking along, even if I’m going 40 miles under the speed limit.  Be patient, I’ll eventually reach my goals destination and get these novels out there. 

Hope you all have a great day!  Keep those spirits high!  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday's Hot New Releases

Wow, I blinked and November snuck right by me.  Tomorrow on Writer's Wednesday I'll get to what's been keeping me away, but for now, it's time to get back on track with some HOT NEW RELEASES!

Princess of Thorns Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo

A modern-day twist on the classic thriller, Rebecca, with a dash of the supernatural, a powerful romance, and a deadly family mystery. 
“There’s something hidden in the maze.” 
Seventeen-year-old Imogen Rockford has never forgotten the last words her father said to her, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor.
For seven years, images of her parents’ death have haunted Imogen’s dreams. In an effort to escape the past, she leaves Rockford Manor and moves to New York City with her new guardians. But some attachments prove impossible to shake—including her love for her handsome neighbor Sebastian Stanhope.
Then a life-altering letter arrives that forces Imogen to return to the manor in England, where she quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind Rockford’s aristocratic exterior. At their center is Imogen herself—and Sebastian, the boy she never stopped loving.

Combining spine-tingling mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters,Suspicion is an action-packed thrill ride.

Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3)In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic...

• THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

• THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

• THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo

Now That You're Here (Duplexity #1)
In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body - his own, but different. Somehow, he's crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee - a girl who'd rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom--may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she's only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there's something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension... a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     

Under My SkinEveryone wants to either be a member of the Guild or work for them. Little does the populace know that the Guild hides sinister secrets...

For Tate Sullivan, life in her small, coastal town is far from glamorous. The affluent lives of the Guild members and their servants isn't something she has ever wanted. But all sixteen year-olds must take a simple test, and Tate's result thrusts her into the Guild's world, one where they hide horrible plans for those they select. Tate must fight the relentless General Dagon for control of her mind, body, and soul to keep the one precious thing she has always taken for granted: herself.

Her only ally is the same handsome boy she is pitted against in General Dagon’s deadly game. Quinn desires nothing more than to end the life of General Dagon who has taken over Tate's mind. While romance blooms between Tate and Quinn, General Dagon plots to eventually take over Tate's body, and love might end before it even begins.

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo

Share your releases in the comments!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Snarkology Halloween Hop: Haunted Truth by Brandy Nacole #Giveaway

Welcome to the Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop!

Enjoy the following short story and leave a comment about what you thought for a chance to win a swag pack from me!

Also enter the two rafflecopters for your chance to win some great prizes!

Water runs in little streams down my window, the yard filling with puddles.  It's ironic that the sky is expressing the sorrow I feel inside.

"Immie, did you hear what I said?"  I turn to my younger sister Lena, who’s standing in her uptight Queen B stance with a scowl on her face and her hands crossed over her chest. 

"Yes I heard what you said," I snap. 

She moves her hands to her hips and narrows her eyes.  "Then why are you just standing there?"   

"Because I don't care, Lena.  So what if mom wants us to meet her new boy toy.  I could care less about how kind he is or the promises he will make.  I just want to be left alone."

"Fine!  Wait until I tell mom, she's going to be all over you."  Lena walks out of the room, slamming it in the process.  I don't know why she cares so much, it's not like this is her boyfriend.  

I remember a time when my thirteen year old sister was just like me, uncaring. Then when dad died, she changed.  She became more sensitive to mom’s feelings and taking care of our family.  It's not that I don't care about our mom.  I just don't like being put on the spot, pretending that I like a man I know nothing about.  A man that's trying to take my father’s place.

I groan when my phone dings, letting me know I have a new text message.  Sure enough, it’s Bly.  Bly is my best friend and has been keeping me on my toes for twelve years.  In kindergarten, we became instant friends and stayed by each other’s side through the good and the bad.

Hey girl you coming tonight?

Unfortunately, Bly is starting to smash all my toes and my patience to deal with her.  All week long she has done nothing but try to push me into going to some party with her.  But no matter how much I refuse, she keeps riding me.  With a simple no reply, I close my phone and ignore any more text from her.

As I turn back to my window a slight chill crawls over my skin.  This chill has overtaken my life ever since the accident, followed by a weird message.  This time the message is clear on my window pane.  Be nice.  Be nice, what does that mean? 

My question is answered when a soft knock comes at my door.  "Hey honey, how are you doing?"  My mom enters the room with sympathy on her face. 

"How do you think I'm doing mom?"

"Honey I know things have been hard on you, what with the death of your father only a year ago and then Pete.  But honey I'm worried about you.  All you do is lock yourself up, keeping everyone out."

The mention of Pete's name brings pain to my chest.  Pete was one of my best friends, I could tell him anything.  We never tried dating or fooling around but deep down I did have an attraction to him that was so drawing it hurt at times. 

About a month ago, Pete and his buddy Ray went camping up at NorthPoint Ridge but Pete never returned.  Ray had survived.  When the police questioned him, he said that he and Pete went hiking on Saturday but had got lost in the woods.  He remembers them finding shelter for the night but everything after that is fuzzy.  All Ray could remember was waking up with Pete nowhere around.  Luckily, Ray was found by some hikers and they immediately called 911 once they reached a service area.  The forest ranger conducted an immediate search party.  Three hours into it, they found Pete by the river, completely drained of blood.  Medical examiners had suspected a bear had mauled him.  The lesions on his body easily explained his blood loss.

Soon after his funeral, I started having dreams about Pete.  They were always about his camping trip, never about anything else.  The thing that terrifies me the most about these dreams, they are always the same. 

The dream starts off with Pete and Ray under the shelter of a few boulders.  They both become startled when a voice rings out through the night, drawing them out from under their shelter.  Ray and Pete get separated when Ray goes left and Pete goes right into the woods.  Then all of a sudden, Pete is grabbed from behind.  He tries fighting whoever has him in a death lock, thrashing from side to side to get free.  He finally gets the upper hand, shoving his opponent against a tall hardwood tree.  Pete spins around ready to keep the fight going, hoping to knock this idiot out so he can report him.  But when he looks at the person who has attacked him, he goes slack.  His body slips until he lands on his knees before a young man.  The boy’s image is always a little distorted, but I can identify him well enough.  He has black hair and his build is toned.  His eyes are a deep brown and as he opens his mouth, sweet enrapturing music flows from his throat to paralyze his victim in a blissful hazy state.  After that the dream always becomes distorted, like I'm being blocked from seeing what happened.  The last thing I always hear is Pete yelling my name. 

The chills and messages started happening a few days after the dreams.  Sometimes I swear I can see Pete standing in my room, smiling.  Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me but it feels so real.  It’s as if Pete is still here with me, guiding me through life. 

I focus back in on my mom and push images of Pete aside.  "Mom, I know this is important to you but I don't think I'm ready for this." 

My mom places her hand over her mouth as tears start to fill her eyes.  "Oh honey, I didn't know.  I'm so sorry.  I'll just call Brick and tell him we are going to wait.  I'm not going to put you through anything you’re not ready for."  I'm about to protest but she doesn't give me the chance.  She's out the door, wiping tears from her face, before I can utter a false reply.

As expected, Lena bursts through my door.  "How could you?  You know how much mom has been suffering ever since dad died.  I'm happy that she's coming back around, that's she's getting back out there, why can't you?"

I want to jump up and yell at my sister.  Tell her to leave me alone.  Instead I shake my head, grab an umbrella, and head out the door.  Mom yells out for me to be careful in a raspy voice as I make my way down the stairs.  I can tell she is still crying.  Lena tries chasing me out the door but I slam the door in her face, cutting off her protests. 

I never meant to hurt my mom or anyone for that matter.  I just want to get over my funk before meeting some eligible bachelor that would be great for my mom.  I don't want to scare him away with all my quiet remarks and sad eyes.  Why would he want to stick around with a woman who has a damaged kid?

I walk around the neighborhood, thinking about how I need to come around.  My grades were slipping, my mom was suffering, and I was just tired of being unhappy.  Determination sets in as I come to this realization.  No more will I be the cause of anyone's pain or the impending doom of my own life.

The familiar chill encompasses me as words of encouragement lap through the wind.  You can do this Immie.  I’m here.  My determination spikes at hearing Pete’s voice ring through my mind, encouraging me to move forward.   I don’t want to be this girl.  I want to be the girl I once was.  The girl that always had a smile on her face.  The one that would listen and care what others thought.  I had my dad and Pete in my heart to help carry me.  If that's all I can have it will have to be enough.

After walking a few blocks around the neighborhood, I turn back to my own block.  I was ready to go inside and tell my mother I’m sorry and to let my sister have it for being such a wench to me before pulling her in a hug to thank her for sticking by mom when I couldn't. 

But when I open the door to my house, the chill spreads across my body and seems to be laced with a warning.  I hear my mom speaking in low a low voice in the living room but this doesn’t bring me any comfort.  Slipping off my rain coat and placing my umbrella upside down on the porch, I shut the door.  As I walk in the living room, I can hear a male voice reassuring my mother.  I can still hear her crying, saying that she had no idea this would be so hard on me. 

I bound in there ready to tell her I'm sorry, ready to greet the man that my mom so eagerly wants us to meet.  But I come up short once in the living room.  A knot grows in my stomach that makes me want to run off in the bathroom to vomit it out. 

The man consulting my mother looks nice and charming.  He's wearing a blue blazer over a black shirt, jeans, and boots.  He has square glasses that are black, which adds to his features.  He seems alright but he’s not the one that has my stomach in a knot.  It’s the boy sitting next to him that has me clutching my stomach and my feet rooted in place.

The boy is handsome with dark black hair, hazel eyes, and a body that would make any girl quiver.  His infectious smile reveals his dimples.  I would be delighted to sit with this boy and have a conversation just to talk to him, if it wasn't for the fact that he haunts my dreams.

This boy is the one in my dreams that had pinned Pete.  Was Pete sending me those dreams?  How could I have been having those dreams about this boy, having never met him before?

My stomach draws up tighter when I see Pete appear.  Is that really him or am I dreaming again?  Pete shakes his head and points at the boy.  A flutter of words whispers in my mind when I look at Pete.  Stay away, Immie.  He is not what he appears to be. 

My body trembles and my throat is so dry I can't utter a word.  My heart begins to dance with fear as the boy stands up and makes his way toward me.  I stand there and watch, like this is all another dream, except I know this is real. 

My eyes begin to burn as Pete's murderer extends his hand and says, "Hello, I'm Macon.  You must be Immie."

 About the Author: Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy books. She is the author of the Shadow World series and the Spiritual Discord series published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.

Brandy lives in Arkansas with her husband, three never stopping kids, two snooty cats, two very lazy bearded dragons, and one mellow turtle. She is a member of the Ozark Romance Authors in Springfield, Missouri. Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending her time outdoors wheeling, hiking, playing amateur photographer, and enjoying a good laugh.

Be sure to visit the other blogs!

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Friday, October 31, 2014

13 Days of Supranatural: Happy Halloween

Thanks to everyone who followed along with the 13 Days of Supranatural!

And thanks to all the participating authors! You guys rock! 

The rafflecopter giveaway will be live until November 1st at 12:01 a.m. 


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

13 Days of Supranatural: Kasi Blake's Paranormal Creatures

When I was asked to write about paranormal characters, I didn’t know where to start.  Vampires?  Werewolves?  Mysterious monsters that go bump in the night?  Then I decided to write about the paranormal characters closest to my heart, the ones I created.

The first paranormal characters I gave life to were Jack (a vampire) and Jersey Clifford (a werewolf).  In Vampires Rule, these two immortal boys are destined to battle because they are born enemies in more way than one.  Jack is seventeen, unhappy with his fangs, and longing to be human again. When he gets his wish, becomes mortal and loses his powers, he thinks he can live like a normal person. Wrong!  Jack is surrounded by hunters from his brother to his new girlfriend, and they all want him to join the fight. They want him to kill Jersey, a man he respects, a man he even calls friend.

In reviews, readers have said they love Jack because he is a vulnerable character even though he is a vampire at the start of the book. He seems lost sometimes as he desperately tries to find a way to re-enter his old life. Unfortunately, being mortal isn’t as easy as he remembers. Not only does he have to worry about getting good grades, he needs to keep his werewolf-hunting girlfriend happy and convince his brother not to stake him at the first opportunity—just to be on the safe side.

I twisted the old vampire myths a bit for this book. The sun can set Jack on fire, and a stake through the heart can kill him, but the rest of the stuff is untrue like garlic and holy water being a problem. He can run faster than a car, can smell the blood in your veins, and overhears conversations from another room. Of course, he has to learn to live without these abilities... for a while. Eventually Jack gets them back (minus the immortality) with a few other cool abilities like being able to touch someone and spy on a moment from their life he wants to know about.

Jersey, on the other hand, is an amazing werewolf. In this book the hairy beasts have invisible, metallic claws that only another supernatural being can see, and those things are deadly. These werewolves have trouble controlling themselves when they change and will kill anyone. Not Jersey. When he gets angry, a horrific imprint of a black wolf’s head appears over his as a ghostly apparition, but he can make it go away just as fast.

Readers say they love Jersey because he is a homicidal maniac who quotes poetry and dresses in solid black with a splash of color somewhere on his person. For some reason, Jack amuses him. In fact he enjoys discussing literature with the former vampire.

Then there are the wraiths. In Vampires Rule, wraiths are women bound to this earth even though they should be dead. They are trapped in their bodies, slaves to Jersey. When he releases them, their spirits appear as wicked looking creatures that snatch people without warning. Since they have awesome wings, they can fly away with their victims, never to be seen again.

Vampires Rule is FREE at the moment because I wanted to give readers a taste of my books without them having to risk anything. Then if the readers fall in love with Jack and Silver, they can continue the story with Werewolves Rule, Shifters Rule, Wizards Rule, and eventually Mortals Rule.

Find Vampires Rule here at Amazon:

Kasi BlakeBorn and raised in California, I fell in love with writing while reading The Outsiders. Then I fell in love with Stephen King's writing style. I enjoy reading many types of books, but YA Paranormal is my favorite. I used to write for Harlequin under a different name. So that's my background. Exciting, no?

I have seven books out now: Vampires Rule, Werewolves Rule,Shifters Rule, Crushed, Witch Hunt, Bait, and my only adult novel, a romantic suspense called Pandora's Box. 

You can find links to all books here on my blog:

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