Dream! I love dreaming! So, of course, a blog hop about dreams I just have to participate in! I am the last one on the tour. I hope you enjoy my dreams!
Writing is largely solitary, and sometimes a lonely endeavor. Sure, you talk to friends, experts for research, discuss what works and what doesn’t with your editor, and bounce ideas off of fellow writers. But in the end it’s one person pounding the keyboard or twirling the pencil. But what if it didn’t have to be completely alone? Who would YOU work with if you could work with anyone on your favorite project?
Stephen King. I don’t write horror but I love his imagination.
In this post, that’s what I’m asking. Choose a person for each category and tell why you want to work with them. If you want, feel free to post their picture, a piece of their work, or a link to something about them. The only rule is that the person must still be alive.
Writers dream. Now it’s time to dream BIG.
You have the opportunity to hire anybody as your cover artist. If you write children’s books or books that are heavily illustrated, who would you get for the interior artwork? Donovan Sparhawk He’s a phenomenal sketch artist. I’d love a black and white cover!
Who would you co-write your next novel with? What genre? Why? I have a writing partner but we live far apart and its very difficult for us to work. I’d love for him to be closer. His name is Mitch Mitchell. We write great erotica together and I’d love to write a contemporary romance with him. He has a perspective I don’t have.
Your publisher wants to do an audiobook version of your novel and they’re not sparing any expense. Who do you think can narrate your masterpiece? That’s easy! Gerard Bulter. I love Scottish men and the accent. Also, my main character is Scottish!
They’re really going all out! Your novel is getting a full soundtrack. Who should compose it? If your novel uses a lot of songs, list your compilation here. I’d love some music by Kate Voegele.
Congratulations! Your novel is being turned into a major motion picture. As the creator of the original work, you get to pick the director. Nick Cassavetes
The director has some ideas on who to cast, but you get to cast one character. What role/character is it and who portrays them? Easy again! Gerard Butler would play Derek Dunbar!
You’ve been hired to write a novel based on a preexisting character or franchise from another medium. Which character or franchise is it? Jody the red headed vampire from Christopher Moore books.
It’s the anniversary of your favorite literary character’s debut. You’ve been hired (yay, work!) to write an anniversary novel. Who is the literary character? D’artangnan from the Three Musketeers! He needs a very sexy romance of his own!
Yes, I’ve been tagged again! I just love these things! Hope you enjoy them too!
THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP
Welcome to this blog hop.
What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors (and bloggers), because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore.
Here you have the chance to find many new authors. You’ll find information about me, what I’m working on now – Take 2 is out now and I’m working on my second book. Also see links below to other authors you might like to check out.
I’d like to thank L L Hunter for tagging me.
In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!
1: What is the working title of your book?
Currently its Abracadabra, but that could change.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
The main character is Tristen Bane. He had a guest spot in my first book, Take 2. I thought he needed a book of his own.
3: What genre does your book come under?
Contemporary romance but this one may be a bit dark.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Criss Angel is the inspiration so he would be my first choice. For the female, I’m not sure yet. I haven’t developed her enough yet.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
At first glance, Tristen’s heart appeared dark but Christine brought him a hint of light.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
My publisher is MasterKoda Select Publishing. Its a fairly new, small publisher where I get a lot of hands-on when it comes to the finalizing of my books and the marketing.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I am in the process. I have barely started but my goal is to have it to the editor by mid May.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have no idea. I’m not sure I have read anything quite like this. I’m sure there is something out there…
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Criss Angel. I find him fascinating.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you’ve read Take 2, he appears briefly and you get a taste of his personality. He isn’t very likable. What woman hasn’t met a man that doesn’t need his outer shell cracked a bit?
Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!
Travis Luedke has three books I’d like to introduce you to:
The Nightlife New York (Book #1 in The Nightlife Series) Vampires, strippers, escorts, night clubs, gangs, pimps and corrupt cops, the Nightlife of New York is never boring. Is she a beautiful blond guardian angel as he imagined, or something else entirely? When Michelle saves Aaron’s life she shares the benefits of her blood (after getting him shot accidentally). He awakes a changed man, living in a purgatory of eternal night, never to see the sunrise again. Michelle drags Aaron through a hardcore learning curve of vampiric slavery. Forced to adapt to servitude, Aaron is subject to her authority of compulsion. She orders him around like a puppet on a string, a dog on a very short leash. First things first, he must learn to feed properly without creating bloodslaves (humans addicted to the powerful drug-like effect of their venomous bite). And then she puts him to work-a male escort in the sex trade-same as Michelle. Aaron walks a tightrope of strictly controlled feeding regiments and intensely erotic sexual adventures while catering to the neurotic control-freak tendencies of his new master. It’s do or die, Michelle vows to eliminate him if he proves too difficult to control. The real kicker-amidst all these shocking and degrading adjustments, Aaron finds he’s falling in love. Can he maintain and keep a sliver of his humanity intact? Innocence is a luxury few can afford in the decadent nightlife of New York. In a world where sex, blood, and power over women is so readily accessible, Aaron struggles against the predatory instincts deeply rooted in his new psyche. He must find his way quickly, practicing rigid self-control, or risk the consequences of Michelle’s wrath.
The Nightlife Las Vegas (Book #2 in The Nightlife Series) Vampires, Aaron Pilan and his master Michelle, live by one rule — no bloodslaves. EVER. Aaron breaks that rule when he meets Anastasia. All Anastasia wants is to be loved and cherished, but the predatory men she’s attracted to bring her only pain and abuse. Escaping one train-wreck relationship for another, she finds happiness with Aaron and Michelle as a bloodslave, a ‘pet’. When Aaron uses his telepathy to win thousands at the gambling tables, he attracts the deadly attention of the Colombian Cartel and Aaron and Michelle are ‘disappeared’. Addicted to the bite of her vampire lovers, Ana is desperate to find them. But, Las Vegas isn’t ready for vampires mixing heroin, sex and vengeance. Ana is trapped in the spiraling chaos. Find out what happens in the second novel of the Nightlife Series. ★★★★★ “Go grab a copy before this much fun is declared illegal.” ★★★★★ “Mr. Luedke once again showcasing his considerable talent for crafting erotic, action-packed, supernatural thrillers that leave the reader saying “Wow!” ★★★★★ “A no-holds-barred, easy-to-read romp that mixes fantasy, suspense, horror and erotica, and does it well.”
Blood Slave (Book #3 in the series, but considered a stand alone novel) Her mother named her Esperanza de Salvador – Hope for Salvation. But when a girl works as an escort for Colombian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, there wasn’t much hope, or salvation. Hope’s telepathic ability keeps her a step ahead of ruin, but her unusual gift attracts the attention of a psychotic vampire bitch. Trapped in a Manhattan penthouse with the psycho, she thought she was dead meat. Her survival lies in the hands of Vampire Master Enrique. He seems to respect her, perhaps even care. As a measure of protection, he makes her his personal Bloodslave. Helplessly addicted to his bite, Enrique rules her every moment. As always, Hope must adapt to survive. Swept into the decadent nightlife of Manhattan’s elite, she falls in love with Enrique and prays someday he may grow to love her, too. But is it simply a relationship of convenience? Is she nothing more than a concubine desperate to satisfy his nightly demands for blood and sex? And forever in the background is the fear that one day the cartel boss she abandoned will hunt her down to collect on old debts.
Excerpt from BLOOD SLAVE:
I awoke in the afternoon alone in bed. I could still smell him on the sheets. Like the fool I am, I thought he’d be there. Wake up sex can be awesome, but I rarely if ever have someone there when I wake up. And it usually isn’t someone I really want there.
A dining cart awaited me with pizza, bottled water, a couple cans of Ensure protein shakes, and a note. The pungent aroma of the chicken pesto pizza had me ravenous. I inhaled two pieces as I read Enrique’s little love note:
Please eat and drink as much as you can. You will be anemic constantly. You must take very good care of your health. The Ensure supplement will help. There will be plasma and blood transfusions available soon, you will probably need them. Take the sublingual strip Suboxone to hold off withdrawals until we meet again after sunset around 7:15 p.m. The Suboxone goes under your tongue.
I apologize for your situation. I hope we can find a way to work through this and become friends.
Okay … Suboxone. Some of the guys at the Towers mentioned it once. It helps fight off heroin withdrawals. One guy said it gave a slight buzz, but nothing like heroin. I have never and will never try heroin. I’ve seen what addicts look like, it’s really fucked up.
So why would he give me Suboxone?
And why wait till seven? Three hours from now. I didn’t want to wait for him. I wanted him here now. Right now! I wanted him to bite me again right now!
“Son of a bitch! He got me with that fucking bite. That’s what he’s been talking about. He’s got me hyped on his bite! Fucking vampires!”
I had a craving, a need, an unscratchable itch for Enrique. Three more hours to go.
* * * *
I was bouncing off the walls by 5:30 p.m.. The Suboxone helped get rid of my headache, and I had a decent buzz going. None of that solved the craving I had for Enrique, or more specifically his bite. A warm bath didn’t help, the three cans of Ensure didn’t help, nor did the half bottle of chardonnay, although it kicked up my buzz nicely.
By 7:16 p.m., I was ready to strip the floral print wallpaper off with my nails. Every part of my body ached for Enrique. I don’t mean pain, I mean need, desire, angst. By 7:17 p.m. I kicked at the locked door, front kicks and sidekicks. I took a few steps back to do a jumping side kick when he opened the door with the most infuriatingly calm comment on his lips.
“Did you miss me?”
I screamed and launched forward. “You son of a bitch!”
He caught me right out of the air in a graceful embrace, absorbing all my impact in his iron hard arms. Before I could react, he bit me fast and hard, right in the neck, robbing me of all sense and reason. Anger, hatred, need, frustration, all obliterated in the blast of sweet, sweet euphoria so intense it brought tears to my eyes. He carried me to the bed as I convulsed with orgasms, still held in the leech’s embrace as if he cared for me. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any underwear on beneath my bathrobe, I would’ve had to change them. My inner thighs were soaked by the time he let up.
I hated and loved him. I wanted to kill him, fuck him, and kiss him, all at the same time. What a mess. Hate won the toss up as the strongest sentiment of the moment.
“I hate you.” I spoke in a quiver, breathless from his bite.
“I expected as much. It’s regrettable, but under the circumstances you left me no choice.” He sighed.
“That’s all you have to say? What did you do to me?”
“I know this seems bad. I understand you’re upset, and rightfully so. I apologize, but it was necessary.”
“What do you mean?”
“I had to assure your loyalty. I had to bind you to me. There was no other way.”
“What do you mean bind? How am I bound? I can’t read your mind! You have to tell me what you’ve done to me. Why do I want to be with you all the time? Why do I need you to bite me?”
“I understand. It must be upsetting you can’t get in here.” He tapped his finger on his skull. “The only name for your condition I have ever known is an archaic terminology I learned from my master over a century ago. He called them ‘Bloodslaves’. I think it’s an inappropriate title. I have no intention of making you a slave.”
“If I’m not a slave then why don’t you let me go home?” I whined.
“Querida, you know too much. It was bad enough you knew of our existence. Then Lia brought you here. She is a constant strain on my patience. If she had let you be, the situation would’ve diffused itself. I imagine you considered her an eccentric. As it stands now, I can’t let you go. To be truthful, your particular talents are intriguing. I’m beginning to like the idea of having you around.”
He had me crying by then. I couldn’t go home, ever. He’d never let me go. Hating him for my captivity, I still felt this inexplicable desire to touch him, coerce him into biting me again. The bastard had me hooked like a damn heroin junky! As I stood there with tears streaming down my face, the son of a bitch hugged me.
It didn’t seem real. Like a bad dream I couldn’t wake up from. He had to let me go home.
“What if I promised I would never say a word to anyone? Who would believe me? This is all so crazy! I can’t hurt you or expose you in any way! I’m an illegal immigrant! I can’t call the police or any other government agency! Your secret’s safe with me! I don’t care who or what you are, or where you live. I just want to go home!” I begged him shamelessly. “I don’t want to be a bloodslave! And I can’t stand it here. Your mind is locked up solid. You could be lying to me! I don’t know anything about you!”
“Shush, Shush, Shush. It does no good to lament. What’s done is done. Querida … you are bound to me. The bond cannot be broken. Surely you’ve noticed the connection between us, the way you need me?”
“OH MY GOD! You did this to me on purpose!”
“Though I’m not proud of it, I’ll not lie. Yes … I did this.”
“Oh God, I’m a slave!”
“That’s not really correct. I’ve no need to stoop to such degradation. I respect you. Enough drama – let’s look at some of the positives here.”
“I know this seems bad, and it is, but there are some benefits to this life. Come with me.”
I followed him reluctantly into the luxurious bathroom attached to my bedroom prison cell. The nicest bed/bath combo I’d ever stayed in. If I could come and go at will it would be perfect.
We stood before the mirror. “Do you notice anything different about yourself?”
I looked in my eyes. I had a post orgasm flush, anger and frustration evident on my face. My eyes were wet from crying. Nothing seemed different from the person in the mirror an hour ago when I’d taken a bath.
“What’s supposed to be different?”
I took him seriously, a new sense of fear bloomed in my gut. What had he done to me? Was I changed? Was I like him now? I opened my mouth to inspect my teeth, looking for the tell-tale fangs. Nada. Nothing changed that I could see.
Enrique snorted laughter. I elbowed him in the ribs. My temper flared up. This was my life he laughed at! The asshole felt so damn solid, like hitting a piece of wood.
He had a twinkle in his eye. “Look at your face. Do you see any bruises or black eyes?”
The bastard hadn’t even flinched when I hit him, he was impervious. He stared at me expectantly with a faintly amused expression. I looked in the mirror again. I scowled, not a very attractive look for me overall. No bruises, no black eyes, not a mark on me from yesterday’s scuffle. My elbows didn’t have any raw spots from when I’d hit the floor. The bite marks that should have been on my neck were nowhere to be found.
I again asked the question, “What did you do to me?” My voice filled with fear and awe.
“There are some pleasant advantages of repeated exposure to our bite. With each bite a small amount of venom is released into your system. This causes the euphoria. Our venom is quite beneficial over time. You’ll heal much more quickly. Your immune system will improve, a higher resistance to communicable diseases. And you’ll age more slowly than the average person. You could live to be well over a hundred. How old are you? Twenty-four? Twenty-five?”
In shock from his words, it took me a few seconds to answer. “Twenty-two”
“Oh … well you seemed a bit older. So very young to have lived through so much. It’s to your advantage. You’ll look as you do for many years to come. A good situation for someone so young, to enjoy youth for a few extra years.
“How old are you?”
“You don’t look a day over thirty five.”
“Why thank you.”
The bastard had calmed me down. I chatted with him like old friends. He was so damn easy to talk to. Attractive, intelligent, kind, beautiful hazel eyes staring at me without blinking. Damn. I was falling under his spell. And why tell me all this? The more he revealed the more dangerous I became to him. He’d never let me go now, I knew too much. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! And still he stared at me with those beautiful unblinking eyes.
“I thought vampires were immortal, what’s all this hundred years shit? I could live that long just by being careful.”
“We live very long lives indeed, several hundred years or more. But you’re not a vampire.”
“Oh I get it. I’m just here for you to bite and fuck. I’m just food – a bloodslave.”
“Calmate querida. Vulgarity is so unattractive coming from such a beautiful woman. Listen to me carefully. You are not a slave. You’re my guest, permanently. That’s how you’ll be treated, that’s how it is.”
“A guest who can never leave the bedroom. That’s the same thing as a slave.”
“No more strife. Let’s get you some clothing, a few amenities. Lia has provided clothes temporarily. Get ready and I’ll return for you shortly.”
“We’re leaving? I actually get to leave the bedroom? Where are we going?”
“Yes, with me of course. I’m not letting you out of my sight. I’m taking you shopping as a gesture of goodwill. Isn’t that what all women want to do in Manhattan?”
Travis Luedke is a husband, father, and author of Urban Fantasy thriller, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it. His recent works include “The Nightlife New York”, “The Nightlife Las Vegas” and “BLOOD SLAVE” the first novels in the Nightlife Series.
Next up in the book tour is Hereafter By Jennifer Snyder
In Death I could finally see the importance of Life…
After being forced to become a Reaper Council member and being torn away from the one she loves, Rowan Harper must learn to accept her altered Fate as well as her death and move on. A task easier said than done, especially when witnessing those you love suffer in the wake of your death.
When an unlikely alli provides information that could change everything, Rowan sets out on a journey through Purgatory with her beloved by her side and a nonchalant Tracker to learn the true meaning of the word sacrifice. Another task which seems easier said than done, especially with the threat of Purgatory’s ability to corrupt your soul the longer you’re in its grip looming above their heads.
Release Date: 18 February 2013
Genre: Young Paranormal Romance
Sadness swallowed me, erasing the emptiness I’d felt earlier. I touched my fingertip to the edge of the glass and focused all of my energy into moving the dust beneath. I felt the coldness of the glass finally meet with my fingertip and glanced to my dad, taking in his sobbing frame as I concentrated harder on moving the dust partials beneath my finger. As I lifted my finger away to be sure I’d succeeded in making an imprint at all within the dust, I felt the familiar tugging of my soul and noticed the first few tendrils of blackness snake around my ankles.
Dread filled me.
Blackness swirled around me like a dense fog, making me lose my concentration before I could do anything more with my message. Dread turned into panic and panic turned into frustration quickly as I took one last glance at my father. I watched as he tipped back the bottle he’d held in his hand and stared at the old picture of my mother and me.
I wouldn’t get the chance to console him with my dust-written message today.
The blackness swirled around my hips moving upward, slowly encasing my shoulders in its thick fog as it formed my cloak. The tugging grew stronger with each second that passed, until I could feel the summoning of the ruling humming through my soul. It was a sensation not to be ignored, although I had tried to before. It left me feeling as though my soul were a rubber band stretched too tight, to the point of snapping, and if I didn’t close my eyes right then and release myself from my unwillingness to go, then I surly would have ripped my soul in half.
This tugging was nothing new. I knew exactly what was about to happen—I was being called to another Reaper Ruling.
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move. Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers. Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface… The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
About the Author:
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel.
Top 5 Things I Love About Being an (Indie) Author by Samantha Durante:
I recently published my first novel, Stitch, and though I’m still new at this whole “author” thing, it’s really been a dream come true! To celebrate, here are the top five things I LOVE about being an author (so far!), in no particular order:
1. Total empowerment.
There were a lot of reasons I decided to go the indie route when publishing Stitch, but by far the main one is that I’m a bit of a control freak and I really liked the idea of having final say over every little detail of my book. I worked with an artist to design the cover, devoted painstaking hours to formatting the e-book versions, and made the final decision about every word, every punctuation mark, and every plot twist. While this is a little scary (after all, I know there are people out there who can do all of these things far better than me!), it also means that the success of my book lies solely on my shoulders… And therefore, as long as I’m willing to put in the work (which I am!), I know my book will do well!
2. My book IS me.
Following with #1, since I didn’t have to get sign-off from a publisher, I could write about whatever I wanted, even a genre-bending thriller that combined paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi in one (yes, one!) book. I pulled in ghost lore, super-geeky spacetime physics, post-apocalyptic scenarios, a biological pandemic, and of course, a kick-ass female protagonist and sexy-but-sensitive male lead. And yes, the fact that my book does not fit squarely into one genre makes it kind of difficult to market (which is why the traditional publishing industry would be wary of it), but it is full of the things I love. And since – as an independent author – I have the exclusive right to decide what gets published under my name, the fact that Iwas excited about my book and believed in it was all that mattered.
3. Quick delivery to readers.
The other big factor that drove me to go indie was the ability to get my book to market QUICKLY. It can take months – even years – for a first time author (going the traditional route) to find an agent and a publisher and go through the editing and revision and publication process. Even though part of me wanted the validation of having credible industry professionals sign-off on my work before it went to the public, a bigger part of me just REALLY wanted to share my book with readers NOW (and the thought of waiting that long to get my book out was like a knife to the gut!). By publishing the book myself, I was able to get it to readers only weeks after it was done, instead of months/years (and now that readers are clamoring for part two of the trilogy, I’m really glad that I’ll be able to get it to them as soon as I can!).
4. Bloggers, bloggers, bloggers.
WOW. I have never met a more supportive and encouraging community of people than the world of book bloggers. Since I am doing all my marketing myself (notice a theme here? :-), I’ve been in personal contact with literally hundreds of bloggers since my book and blog tour launched a few months ago, and each and every one of them has absolutely blown me away. There’s just been an incredible outpouring of assistance and enthusiasm from the blogging community, and I feel SO grateful to have made contact with all of these amazing people. Thank you SO MUCH to all of the bloggers who have helped me promote Stitch! You guys are amazing!!
5. Reader commentary!
Last but CERTAINLY not least are the readers themselves! It has been just INCREDIBLE to share Stitch with so many people and to hear their feedback and see them getting excited about the story the same way I am. Stitch is definitely a different sort of book, and I have to say, even though I knew I loved the story, I didn’t know if most readers would feel the same. So when 4- and 5-star reviews started popping up all over the internet, you can only imagine how gratifying that felt! I’ve read every review that’s been posted online and it always makes my day to hear that someone enjoyed the book. I’m SO indebted to every reader who’s taken the time to read and talk about Stitch! Nothing is more motivating than passionate fans who are itching for the next installment – I can’t WAIT to get started on the next one for you guys!
I’ve made an interesting, albeit maybe obvious, observation. As we get older, we become more like our parents/grandparents.
I’m talking about how we view our mortality. Think about it. Remember how your parents talked about their ailments, doctor’s appointments and obituaries? As a kid, I totally never got it. Now, enjoying the last half of my life, I see why they did that. It’s surprising how much your mind still feels twenty-five but your body feels ancient. When did that happen? I could have sworn I felt much younger yesterday. Where has the time gone?
In this wake of our mortality some of us stop and look around us. What have me missed? We have friends passing all around us. Have we done all the things we thought we’d do? Oh, some of us have gained maturity (I said some – no laughing) and wisdom (I fit better there). But have we accomplished the things we thought we would?
I did a survey on Facebook. What’s on your bucket list? Some of the answers I received I expected, some were surprising. The most common item on the list was some kind of adventure. Whether it be sailing on a full-rig ship, skydiving (most common), walk the Great Wall of China or joining the mile-high club, adventure was the most common answer.
Why is that? Are we too cautious in our everyday life? Are we saving that big moment for the day we’re told we only have six months to live? Reality is life is filled with work, family and bills that need to be paid. Adventure isn’t a priority. We have been taught that resposibilty out weighs fun. These dreams get put on a back-burner. Once we have more money, less resposibility, we’ll have more time to follow through with the dreams. Hopefully, we’ll have six weeks notice and the health to do it.
The next most common was travel. Reasons, I’m sure, are the same as adventure. I know I’d love to go to Scotland but the money just isn’t available. Now if I played the lotto I might have a chance. Other common destinations were Disney World, Australia, and seeing all fifty states.
Some other bucket list items were having a novel on the best sellers list, finding a soul mate, and losing weight. Are any of these impossible? No! And, definitely, shouldn’t be put off to the last ticking minute.
What’s my message here? Just because we age doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of great thngs. Why wait until we are too old to enjoy our bucket list? Start planning today to fulfill that list! Live a full, exciting life – if that’s waht you’re looking for. Don’t put it off…you may never get another chance.
I write a lot about dating and relationships. Today I’d like to introduce you to Aurora Morealist. She talks about what she thinks makes a great relationship and her experience at mature dating. Take a peek and see if you have a different opinion. Please write them below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you could build your ideal man, top to bottom, describe him…
Genuine.Safe. Kind.Loving. Loyal. Non-smoker of anything at all. Non-drinker. Great hygiene, nothing smells better than clean. Okay maybe evergreens Kissable lips and teeth. Warm, tender hands. Values love, friends, family and simple pleasures in life. Knows the difference between monogamy and mahogany Stable and trustworthy,of solid character. Wouldn’t hurt if he is good looking but looks aren’t everything to me. Common sense, respect and intelligence are more important.
What do you find the most attractive part of man’s body? Eyes – In my observation, the way a man looks at or does not look at you usually tells you all you need to know about how he feels about you.
What qualities do you look for in a partner? Oh dear. I think I just listed those above in question 1. Let me just add that qualities are more important than appearance. Appearance matters, yes, but for me it is more about basic common sense than particular traits (ie tall, dark and handsome). Short, sweet and winsome is fine if he is engaged in being genuinely whoever he is so that I can genuinely decide if I want his presence in my reality.
What do you want in a relationship? Companionship. Connection. Life partner. Purity of intent on both sides. Bonding. Respect, honor and healthy communication. Someone to cuddle with and share the quiet times as well as socializing, family, etc Someone who accepts me just as I am, appreciates me without trying to change me. A man unafraid to speak to injustice who walks tall in life, integrity his way of being no matter what we do.
What do you consider a romantic evening? Walking and talking is always an easy pleasure. From there holding hands and walking and talking, lol… or dinner or coffee together in a quiet corner where we can continue to enjoy and focus on one another. Or a night of dancing, love dancing… can dance for hours… Or a winter picnic with a thermos of mocha under the moon works, too
Do you like to be fed by your date? It’s awkward feeling to me, actually kind of annoying in public. The fork was so loaded some food landed on my dress but I politely complied where I should have politely declined instead of letting him fork it over in his “showy” way (yes, he is not “him” lol)
How many dates should a couple go on before they have sex? That should be decided by the couple. There is no rule and no one should listen to anyone else because everyone has different thoughts, ideas and values on this very personal matter. For me, I cannot just hook-up and have sex. It is not and never will be who I am. Some have no problem with it and I can’t judge them just because it doesn’t work for me. We are all different and even the word “relationship” describes something different for all of us.
What do you think is the biggest mistake women make when dating? Many women seem to forget that reality matters and they must not ignore the problems/alarm bells early on in a relationship. For example, if he criticizes you or anything to do with you in any way or is still focused on his ex or you are arguing at all in the first two weeks, see it clearly and decide whether this is something you want more of … instead of forging right on past the red flags just because your ideals or longing/emotional needs press you onward when your intuitive self knows better. I know because I did this. Getting in touch with yourself, being very clear about what you want is vital. Many men do not enjoy my clarity – or so they say in cold messages to let me know my standards are too high but they are not for me anyway. Be patient. Recognize that nothing is perfect and never will be. We really don’t need perfect, we just need perfect for us. Stay grounded in reality, keep it classy. A male friend in our age group (40’s – 50’s) said he became very depressed seeing boob shots from obviously 50 something or older partied out women dressing like Brittany Spears wannabes. That made me feel very sad and yet said so much to me about valuing my own standards. Of course intimacy in relationships matters very much to me. Yet, I personally do not want to project that I am only about that. If men don’t “read” my profile accurately, again, they are not for me.
…the biggest mistake men make? Assuming anything about women/a woman or talking about all the women who still want them. I have talked to more assuming men online than anywhere else in my life. Years ago in a PR course, I learned the word “assume” means ASS of U and ME. It really does. Telling me about all the women who want you only tells me that you are either arrogant or insecure and I’m not up for those types anyway. I don’t want to be needed but I do want to be wanted. Telling those men about all the men who still want you doesn’t level the playing field at all, I found, they can’t even hear us anyway. I probably blocked close to 500 men in the past three years on various dating sites. I really can’t remember. Only a handful were actually interesting to talk to – so far – and seemed as genuine as their profiles as they were to converse with. Almost ready to give it up after three years of being single and finding so many wishy-washy on-the-fence attitudes out there. It really doesn’t matter how many questionnaires dating sites have to improve their matching. Anyone can be anything they want on line. Illusions and delusions are rampant online. The real world exposes the real you. Be prepared for constant rejection if you are operating in an online persona that proves false over the telephone or in person. Keep it real. My retired Irish pilot friend seldom ever cusses but she did once when sharing an old family phrase “there’s an arse for every seat.” Keeping it real – what you REALLY want, photos of what you REALLY look like NOW – ensures your chances of a matching seat instead of wasting time. This basic respect applies to both genders though, really, in my opinion. Usually by the third email – emails directly from the man himself, not a question back and forth dating site gimmick that wastes my time because cons can out-con any machine – I can see for myself if I want to move to telephone or halt things right there.
Do you think it’s possible to have a monogamous long term relationship, as in till death do us part? Yes. The commitment has to be from both sides. That’s the only glitch these days. People are often too busy wondering what they’ve missed out on instead of appreciating what they’ve found is what I have discovered. More men I spoke with and/or met eyeball to eyeball came back to say things like “you were so real,” “you were the best woman I met on here” or “I should never have let you go” etc but I am not priority number nine and will not settle for someone who can’t see who I am in the first place. I know what I want in a man and I’ll know when I find him, instead of doubts and questions in my mind arising, I will calmy, quietly know.The “online-drive-through-human-smorgasbord-mentality” seems to be highly addictive to many who cannot disengage from their gadgets and machines long enough to even forge a real world connection let alone build a meaningful relationship. Another guy friend tells me that women are just as slippery about any commitment in the real world ranging from reluctance to actually meet in the real world to thinking they will miss a better person if they leave the online world behind – as I have found many men to be. That said, I still believe if both parties are truly committed to one another, it can last forever. It takes work but loyally married for three decades I know what that work looks like – it’s not as hard as we think if a couple is truly a team as anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows
How does a couple, who’s been together a long time, keep the spark in their relationship? In my opinion, both need to remember that nothing will ever be like it was. But bonding continues at deeper levels if both are willing to truly continue building and work together to overcome challenges. This is the foundation I have seen again and again in lasting relationships. We are all human and when we open our mouths, our brain rolls out like it or not. Our actions also prove whether or not we walk our talk. If we see something unpalatable or questionable in the opening act, so to speak, lol, we have every right to register our observations or question what we see in order to make healthy decisions for ourselves. Going blindly into a relationship based on whatever is going on inside our own heads is a portent for disaster – in any relationship – even friendship as I have painfully discovered. Know what you want going in because it is the bond you build that will get you through the relationship tests. Flames of love can always be rekindled or reach higher is my personal belief… if we don’t snuff out the spark with our own fantasies and unrealistic expectations.
What do you consider a romantic song? Bruno Mars – It Will Rain Madonna – Crazy For You Spandau Ballet – True
Who’s your favorite celebrity crush? Oh boy, this is difficult. I’m not much on the world of fame/celebrities so I am truly struggling. If I can think of someone, I’ll get back to this question later.
What’s a typical night with Aurora? Boring, lol. Quite a home body at night, I usually do chores, fix some dinner (sometimes yogurt or cereal), write, read, perhaps watch a movie or catch up on the phone with friends. Not into texting or having gadgets wired to my butt – prefer quiet simplicity and living pretty but pretty simply. Social media maintenance is probably the most complex thing I do, try not to get stuck there because I start resenting time lost to “machines.” Write anything from poetry and blog(s) to poetry on my blog. A walk if weather permits and in summer a park visit, a sea side stroll or just reading on the patio listening to breeze- inspired leaf song. Still, if the right company arrived, I might say “let’s go say goodnight to the stars” at midnight
When you sleep, do you prefer jammies or in the buff? Personally I prefer pj’s – I think it’s mother programming, “always make sure you have clean underwear in case you get in an accident” – as if we would care about that if we were in an accident, lol. I am situation dependent just as with my eclectic taste in music. If a partner appears I may wear a more feminine gown or robe or… who knows… everyone is different but a regular night will find me in regular pj’s or a man’s oversize cotton T summer nights 🙂 Dating is difficult at any age. We hope as we grow older and mature, it will be easier. We have all seen that with maturity comes baggage that taints our actions and decisions. Are you having success at dating? If you have a secret, I’d love for you to share!
I recently have had the chance to interview one of my characters from my book, Piper LeVine, A Gypsy’s Truth. Regardless of whether of you’ve yet had the chance to read the book or not I hope you’ll enjoy the interview.
“Thank you for being with us today Trina, I know your family has had a lot of attention from the media lately so I especially appreciate your giving me this interview,” I say with my friendliest smile.
Trina LeVine is seated across from me with excellent posture and a navy pencil skirt, with a cream-colored blouse and matching plaid jacket. Her shoulder-length blond hair and bright blue eyes shine at me as she tries to make her mind up about me. “Sure, you’re welcome,” Trina answers giving me a smile she often wears on the campaign stage next to her father Senator Harold LeVine.
“I was hoping you could tell me about growing up with Piper. Were you aware of her mysterious past?” I ask.
“No, I didn’t know Piper had a past any different from my own. Piper is my big sister and no matter what past she has, that will never change.” She crosses her feet at the ankle.
“Did your parents treat her differently than you?”
Trina’s blue eyes fall to her hands folded on her lap. “Not like you’re probably thinking. She is the eldest so of course they’re harder on her. She’s supposed to be setting an example for me.” She looks up but past me as she continues.
“I always thought it was kind of weird that she was allowed to spend so much time at our Grandma Sidney’s house. It isn’t very close to our house and sometimes she’d stay with Grandma Sidney for a full school year. My mom just said Piper and Grandma Sidney have a special relationship when I asked her about it.” A genuine smile curves her lips. “They really are close.”
I lean forward wondering how much she knows as I ask her, “What do you think of the young man she likes?”
“Who Nicholas? Have you seen him? I don’t mind telling you on the record that, that man is gorgeous. He is so hot. I would’ve just grabbed him and kissed him if I hadn’t seen the way Piper was looking at him. She’s got it bad for, Nicholas. She even ate a whole side of ham, Grandma Sidney told me she walked in on her in the process. Piper must have been so nervous, to eat like that.”
She laughs. “I don’t know if she’s going to get to keep that sexy chunk of man meat.”
I ask her, “Why not.”
“Our Mom isn’t going to like him.”She blushes with the shake of her head.
“Why won’t she like him? Does it have to do with his social status?”
Trina tilts her head considering my question. “That and there’s this…” she chews her lower lip and squints her eyes thinking it over, “wild, dangerous current coming off him. You know? Like when you look into the eyes of a tiger at the zoo and you just know that if there weren’t a cage separating you, the tiger could have you for lunch. I mean like that moment when its eyes lock in on you, and you know it’s up to the tiger if you live or die?”
“Yeah, as a mother I can see why your mom would have a problem with that.”
Her big blue eyes in her youthful face grow wide. “Nicholas loves Piper. He wouldn’t hurt her.”
“Really? What makes you so sure?”
She looks at my notebook. “Let’s just say that from the example, I’ve grown up with, I know what love doesn’t look like.”
“When I see Nicholas simply standing next to Piper, he’s not just listening. He’s absorbing every detail of who she is. Believe me if I thought he was bad for her. I’d make sure she dumped him.” She ends with her eyebrows raised.
“Do you think Piper will recover from this new world she’s been involved in? I mean dealing with werewolves, vampires and Gypsies?”
She rolls her eyes at me and then catches herself. “Obviously, you’ve been sucked into all the hype. I may be beautifully young, but I’m not ignorant. There is no such thing as werewolves and vampires. I refuse to sensationalize an obvious lie. Sorry to blow it for you but the tooth fairy is a lie too.”
“You didn’t mention the Gypsies,” I point out.
“Just because Piper’s been exposed to a bunch of cunning magicians doesn’t mean she’s going to buy into any of their tricks. My sister is smart, strong and confident. No recovery necessary, I’m quite sure of it.”
I offer her my hand. “Thank you for your time, Trina. I hope this school year goes well for you,” I say knowing the upcoming year is going to be a challenge.
Thank you for stopping by to meet Trina LeVine. I hope you get the chance to read my book Piper LeVine, A Gypsy’s Truth, available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Thank you for all your support and happy reading!
No matter where you are, facing your reality with passion and purpose will always lead down the path you were intended to go
Reece Bryant was able to pick up the pieces of her broken life after the sudden death of her father. Though emotionally draining, she found the courage to move on, which would have made her father proud. After finalizing the last of his estate, and returning to pursue her degree in medical school, she has never felt so confident.
While making her way through this world on her own, she is suddenly confronted with the truth of her existence, and the reality of her future. It is when she encounters two alluring and mysterious men, that a series of extraordinary events takes place, putting Reece’s life in grave danger. With her life in the balance, Reece must blindly trust the two mysterious strangers; and when she does, she is brought into an enchanting world that is beyond her logical comprehension.
This captivating land reveals new worlds and new dimensions to which her existence is paramount. But it is once she falls in love with the stunning Levi Oxley that everything will change, and Reece’s life will be in more danger than ever before.
Forced to return to Earth and face a Council of Worlds, Reece discovers there is more to this enchanting dimension than she could have ever imagined.
At a moment’s notice, even thru the fog of our denial, our journey can become crystal clear. And within the revelation, once our fear subsides, we can find contentment and purpose if we focus on the things that matter most. Trust—Courage—Love. Goodreads
What do you want in a relationship? Go ahead make that list. Notice something? It’s way easier to to say what you don’t want. In the very wise words of Bertha, ‘Bertha Size Your Life’, by Jane Carroll, “Your way of expressing what you want by saying what you don’t want is very common. Most people spend very little time focusing on what they truly want.”
Why do we do that? Is it because we’re afraid if we are too specific about what we do want, we won’t ever get it? In the back of our minds do we know we’re gonna settle for whatever we find just to not be alone?
Think of your list. What do you want? If you could build that perfect relationship (we all know nothing is perfect but…) what would you definitely want? To know you’re thought of when their eyes open in the morning and closed at night, that you are the most beautiful woman (or most handsome man) they know, that their heart skips a beat when they see you, that they feel an unexplained connection to you – you are drawn together by an unseen, unbreakable thread, that they get your humor, and that they think your rambling chatter is cute. To know they would do their absolute best not to break your heart, ever…to be wanted…
I think most of the time its fear, fear we’ll actually get what we want. Could you handle getting what you truly wanted? Do we think we’re deserving? We’ve all been hurt, damaged. How do we move past the hurt, allow what we want to come into our lives? How do we allow love to come back to us? How do we get past the point where we finally feel we deserve it? Trust. Step out on the ledge and trust again.