Monday, April 7, 2014

Seduction and the lure of the sea.....



This was me last year and will be me again as soon as the damn snow melts. Kayaking is awesome, you should try it.

Hi guys!

Sorry I've been away from my blog since the release of Seduction, but I figured a little time away was due. You know, releasing a book is a very stressful thing because obviously not every one is going to like what you've written or where the characters have taken the story. And while that is unfortunate, it is a reality with writing a book.


I have a couple of favourite authors,

namely Karen Marie Moning and Diana Gabaldon. And I can honestly say that I have loved everything I've ever read from both of them. But if you look at their reviews on Goodreads, there are actually people who have given them 1 and 2 stars.  How can that be? It just makes me shake my head because I think they're both such wonderful writers, yet someone out there obviously disagrees with me.

                                            View of the Bay. It's so beautiful :)


Seduction is only my second book, so I guess I need to grow a thicker skin. At least I'm better than I used to be. I remember the first bad review I ever received (for Temptation) I actually cried. It really hurt my feelings but I have learned to bring a certain level of emotional detachment to the table now when dealing with unfavourable reviews.


This is one of my favourite beaches in the world. When the tide is out, you can walk along the ocean floor for more than a kilometre. It's amazing.

So, what are you guys up to? I hope Spring is finally blossoming wherever you are. The snow is finally starting to melt in the Eastern part of Canada and I am so happy.

It has been a long, hard winter and I cannot wait to return to my cottage. I long to sit on the sand while I listen to the waves crash onto the shore. Best thing ever.
Last summer we sat on the beach and ate lobster. We bought it right off the boat. I guess you can do that when you live close to the sea in the summer.

Love you guys and a huge thanks for reading,

T.
xo

Sunday, March 30, 2014

6000 downloads and teary reviews.....

Today is the last and final day of my free promo for Temptation! It has been a very successful few days with just over 6000 downloads in such a short amount of time.
Because of your overwhelming support, Temptation shot up onto the "Top 100 Free" on Amazon, so thank you so much guys! I really appreciate it.

I have spent the day preparing my book description for Seduction and reading over the new reviews that you guys have left me on Amazon.com and Goodreads.

I am humbled and have shed a few tears from your kind words.

Do you know that THIS is why authors continue to write? Because god knows it's not for the money, that's for sure. I'll let you in on a little secret: when a book is priced at .99cents on Amazon, the author gets a whopping .35 cents per book. Now take into account that it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to write a book and suddenly your profit margin isn't that great, is it? 
It's just a little insight into the "glamorous" life of an author. I know most authors probably wouldn't divulge this info because they're too cool for school, but I am a huge fan of keeping it real.

So, YOU GUYS are the reason I keep writing. It's what keeps me going whenever I get a bad review or someone says something mean about me on social media. And trust me, it does happen. There are a lot of "groups" out there that do not like authors who write books about sex or mature themes. They gang up on authors and if they were kids, we'd call them bullies. But they're adults, so we call it "free speech". Anyway, I'm not going to call them out because then I would be just as bad as they are.



To the wonderful people who take time out of your day to leave me such lovely and encouraging words: THANK YOU! It means so much to me but it also helps me to write the kind of books that you guys want to read. So, please, after you're done reading Temptation, please go to my Amazon page, leave me a review and let me know what you thought. It would mean a lot, not only to me, but to other readers who are trying to decided whether a book is for them or not. 

Much love to you all and thank you for reading,

T.
xo

Friday, March 28, 2014

Seduction Book 2, Editing and Roan........

Welcome to the 2500 new readers who have downloaded Temptation (Journal of the Wolves of Spruce Hollow) Book 1 in the past two days as part of my free promo! Thanks guys!

I would like to let everyone know that Seduction Book 2 is finished! And by "finished" I mean, it is no
longer in my hands. It is currently being formatted and I could just barf from the anxiety.

I edited and re-edited the hell out of this book and I pray that I got it right for you guys. It is so easy to make mistakes and skip words when you're editing because words tend to run into each other.

It may surprise you to learn that reading the same words over and over again tends to make look them like a collection of letters that "can't possibly" go together.

Me: "What is this word? D-O-G??
My Dictionary: "It spells "dog"
Me: "No, it can't possibly. It doesn't look right."
My Dictionary: "Sorry, it spells dog."
Me: "Huh, really."

Anyway, Roan just wanted me to let you guys know where we are at, as far as publishing is concerned. Because he's responsible and irritating like that.

God, he always wants to be the boss, doesn't he?

I hope you guys are having a GREAT day! Seduction is coming April 1st!


T.
xo


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seduction teaser....


"My mood was dark and sulky as I sat hunched over in our regular corner booth. I was a miserable bastard. Thank god for the vibration of the bar music and the buzzing sound of the patrons around me. It helped to drone out the chaos in my head. Griff and Caver were unaffected by my black demeanor and continued to talk with their usual lighthearted camaraderie. I didn’t know how they could stand me right now. Fuck, I could barely stand my own company."

Poor Roan.

I wonder what he's so tied up in knots about? Find out April 1st! Seduction Book 2 is coming!

Love yas,

T.
                                                    xo

Monday, March 24, 2014

Seduction Book 2 is coming!

Only one week until you find out what happens to Roan and Aspen! I am excited about it because there is a lot that happens in their journey. A lot of conflict, loss, love, hate and SEX.

I really hope you guys will like it.

As a thank you to all of you, I am offering Temptation Book 1 for FREE for the next five days. So, if you have already read my book and liked it, then maybe you could recommend it to a friend? That would be awesome and also super helpful to get the word out as book promotion is certainly not my forte.

I hate selling myself, it feels so contrived and fake. Frankly it's a miracle that you all found my book in the first place because I do virtually no book promotion. It's kind of unheard of in publishing/writing circles, so I tend to whisper it very quietly.

But this is my blog, so I can say whatever I want :)

Anyway, I love you guys and hope you're having a GREAT day!

Temptation Book 1 is FREE starting tomorrow!

T.
xo

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Price of truth is a vial of Sodium Penthotal....Part 2

So, yeah.
I have PTSD. Fun huh?
Yeah, not so much. Finding that girl in the garbage bag altered my life in many ways. It left me hypervigilant and afraid. It left me depressed and anxious. But most importantly, it was the end of innocence for me.

You know, for my entire life, I had walked around with the deeply held belief that people were inherently good inside. But finding this girl destroyed that for me. I no longer saw the world as a good, safe place. And people? Huh. Well, people were now things to be feared because now I knew what "people" were capable of because I had seen it with my own eyes.
And trust me, experiencing something with all your senses awake and alive is an entirely different experience than reading about it or seeing it on tv.

So, for three years my life stopped and I sat at home.

I went to counselling every two weeks. I took my medication. I cried a lot and relived that horrible day, every goddamn day. Literally. Every day.
There has honestly not been one single day in the past three and a half years that November 6th 2010 has not ran through my head. Not one day that I haven't thought of the dead girl and the black garbage bag in the forest.

Did I want to think about it? No, absolutely not. I wish I could have forgotten. I have even done EMDR, which is a psychotherapy used in the treatment of PTSD in an attempt to help my PTSD.

But the sights and sounds of that day wouldn't leave me, no matter how much counselling and therapy I received. I finally ended up getting a German Shepherd in 2012 as a companion dog after reading about how soldiers with PTSD have been helped by companion dogs.

It was love at first sight and she is "My Dog" in every sense of the word. I see her as a person with fur and she comes everywhere with me. She has given me so much over the past two years. If I couldn't get out of bed that day, she was laying right beside me. If I was sitting on the couch, she was sitting right beside me. If I had to get groceries, she was there. Wherever I went, the dog went too.

I couldn't leave the house without the dog. She became my security blanket and honestly if it wasn't for her, I would have been become a recluse. Her name is "Nova" and she has been a lifesaver for me. I love her with a fierce intensity generally reserved for family members, because in my mind, she is family to me.

So, how did Stuart Reardon get into this little story of mine?

Well, first let's take a quick look at him because he is extremely beautiful. Isn't he just the most attractive man you've ever seen? I think he is.

*sigh*

Okay, so it was 2013 and I'd just finished writing Temptation Book 1. And like any author that writes a book, I had a very clear picture in my mind of what my characters looked like. However, I am not a terribly good artist and therefore struck out on the internet to "find" my Roan.

I still haven't found him yet, but the closest I've seen is kind of a combination of David Ghandy and Hernan Drago. I was disappointed about not being able to find a suitable representation of Roan but what I did find was a picture of Stuart Reardon. This picture right here, to be exact:


Anyway, I was immediately smitten with him. I mean, I really, truly thought he was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. And that's really saying something, because the world is full of attractive movie stars, singers, sports figures, etc.
   
So, here I was. PTSD girl. Sad. Anxious, Depressed. Barely leaving the house and German Shepherd by my side. It was a lonely existence. And then all of a sudden there was Stuart Reardon, or Stu as he goes by. So, what did I do about it? Well, like any good fangirl, I stalked his ass on the internet until I could find out anything and everything about him. I realize that sounds pretty terrible, but you have to understand, I had no life. All I did was sit at home all day and night while the rest of the world passed me by. Following Stu around on his various social media sites was pretty darn exciting and was far better than anything else I was doing at the time. Well, except for writing. Nothing is ever better than writing.

So, after months of following him on Twitter, Liking his Facebook page, reading articles about his career and watching videos about this beautiful man, something really funny started to happen.

I got inspired.

I'm sure you're probably thinking "that's it? That's what Stuart Reardon did for you??" Yes, that's it. Stuart Reardon inspired me. His story of adversity in his professional rugby career was hugely inspiring to me. He'd had three major setbacks in his career when he suffered 3 traumatic injuries that could have ended his career.

But it didn't.

He had 3 separate achilles tendon ruptures and had to undergo reconstruction and physical therapy in order to be able to run again. But he didn't give up.

And with determination and hard work, he was able to come back from each injury. Even more incredible was that he was able to return to rugby each time. Getting better and recovering is one thing but being able to return to rugby was simply amazing. I don't know if you've ever watched rugby but it's a rough sport. It's definitely not for wimps, that's for sure.

As a nurse, I found the fact that he was able to fight and regain his life enormously inspiring because I know that not all patients with a traumatic Achilles rupture are able to return to their former functioning. It was amazing to me that Stu had done it not once, but three separate times! Three freaking times. Now that is truly inspirational. That is someone with a lot of heart and dedication.

How can you not be inspired by someone who's overcome adversity and hardship like that? But that wasn't all. Stu's story didn't end there. There is more and if you'd like to stalk him online too :P go to his Facebook page or go online and find out all about this great guy. I am enormously grateful to him and just love him because he's given me a tremendous gift.

He's given me hope.

Because if he can do it and overcome adversity, then maybe I can do it too and come back from PTSD.
Hope. It's a beautiful, priceless gift and it's honestly something that I never thought I'd ever be able to wrap my hands around again.

So, did Stu play an active part in this? Nope, not at all. We've only emailed a couple of times and I retweet him on Twitter sometimes. We're not friends and we don't hang out. We don't even live in the same country. He's in the UK and I'm in Canada.

So then you are probably wondering how he could have had such a profound impact on me and truthfully, the answer is "I don't know". I have no idea "why him" or why this happened to me now and not a year ago. I haven't got a clue. I guess it is because of his life story. Because the adversity he's faced and the example he's set have spoken to me for some reason. I don't really understand it myself. Maybe looking at his sexy modelling pictures shamed me into going back to the gym :D hahahaha

No, honestly, I think some people come into your life for a reason. I think it's that simple. You don't meet people by accident. And stumbling upon Stu's picture on the internet that day was no accident. He's changed my life in immeasurable ways. Truly. For the first time in three and a half years, I have motivation and hope. I feel inspired and am starting to live again. It's a miracle to me and I am enormously grateful for Stu and his story.

So far, I have lost 26lbs and I am far from done. Being home for three years does nothing for your health or sex appeal. I also now follow a Paleo diet religiously and go to the gym almost every day. And it all started because of Stuart Reardon.

I am so grateful for him and the struggles he's faced that I could cry.

Please go to his Facebook page and show him some love, it would mean a lot to me as I really have no way to pay him back for what he's done for me. How can you pay someone back for turning your life around?
You can follow him here. I am on his Facebook page quite often as I have become friends with the woman who runs it and I just love her and Stu. They have both given me hope that there are still good people left in the world.

I hope you all have something in your life that makes you feel grateful. It is a wonderful gift.

Much love to you all on this beautiful day,


T.
xo










Saturday, March 15, 2014

The price of truth is a vial of Sodium Pentothal.....Part 1

You know, life is funny. Just when you think you have it all together and have a carefully constructed plan mapped out in your head.

BAM! 

Out comes a kick to the gut that brings you to your knees and shows you that you really aren't in charge of shit in this world.

I know.
I had a carefully constructed plan mapped out in my head once. I bet you do too. My life was carefully thought out and I had it all together. 

Before I became a writer, I used to be a nurse. An Oncology and a Palliative Care nurse, to be exact. I loved my career and I loved my patients. And you know what? I was a damn good nurse too. I used to be one of those people who thought that I could save the world, if I only tried hard enough. 

Every thing was right where it should be in my carefully constructed universe.
But, dammit all, I was a "helper" and being a helper proved to be my downfall. You see, I always wanted to fix things and make people happy. And it was this desire to "help" that ultimately led to my "Bam!"

On November 6th, 2010, I volunteered to be part of a Search and Rescue. There was a young woman who had been missing from our community for days. It bothered me. Actually, it bothered me a lot. Sure there had been missing women in our city before but there was something about this one girl and her story that spoke to me. She was young and had two young children. She was beautiful but had sad eyes. I don't know what it was, but there was something about her that compelled me to pick up the phone and say "I'm in".

The consensus amongst her family and law enforcement was that her ex boyfriend was holding her in a hunting camp somewhere in the woods. When the ex bf was apprehended by the police on day 5, the girl did not show up and the Search and Rescue went in to look for her.

I was perfect for this Search and Rescue because not only did I have medical training, I also had knowledge of the woods, as I was an avid hiker and spent a lot of time outdoors. 

God, I desperately wanted to help this poor girl and her family. That's all I wanted to do.

On day 7, the Search and Rescue group were deep in the woods, in the pouring rain. Not a gentle rain but a freaking downpour. We were on a dirt road logging trail, when I spotted a black garbage bag about 6ft off to the side of the dirt road. Although we were stopping and checking anything and everything that seemed out of place, I kept going because I thought it was a bag of leaves that someone had stopped and dumped off in the woods. The bad just seemed too small to be anything important.

To this day, I am still angry at myself for not trusting my initial gut instinct to check that damn bag.

But the searcher behind me did stop and he opened the bag. 
I was about 30 feet away when I stopped, turned around and waited for him to catch up. But things in my carefully constructed world were about to quickly unravel when he pulled the bag open and started screaming.

I ran back towards him with my heart in my throat and panic filling me. What was in the bag? Why was he screaming? 
I knew that it had to be bad but all my training and years as a nurse did absolutely nothing to prepare me for the sight that greeted me as I stood at his side and stared down at the garbage bag on the ground.

"Omg, omg. It can't be. No, it's not. No. There's no way," I repeated over and over.

You know, your mind plays tricks on you when you're confronted by something so horrific that you just can't wrap your head around it. I must have paced back and forth a hundred times, looking down at the missing girl hanging out of the bag, and then walking away again. My brain just couldn't process the fact that I was looking at a human being in a garbage bag.

I felt helpless. I had all this training and medical know-how and there wasn't a fucking thing that I could do to save this girl. Something inside me fractured and broke into a thousand pieces as I paced and sobbed hysterically back and forth on the dirt road in front of her body. It was an absolute nightmare.

Here we were stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell reception. The Search party was unarmed and we were terrified that whomever had dumped the girl's body was still in the woods watching us.
I was afraid for my life in those moments, worried that the murderer would come for us too.

All seven members of our Search and Rescue gathered by the body and after an initial Group Freak Out. We decided to split up, with part of the search party going for help.

But I was still a nurse and a caregiver and even though I was overcome with grief, I stayed with the body while the others tried to reach someone on the CB radio. I guess I felt like this poor girl had been left in such an inhuman and undignified manner, there was no way I could leave her alone in the woods for one more minute while we tried to get help. So, overcome with the inhumanity and violence of the situation, I just stood there with her and wept.

It was truly awful. Never in my professional or personal life have I ever felt so powerless or so traumatized as I did in those moments. 

Help eventually came and the police descended upon our remote location in the woods like the cavalry coming to the rescue. I have never been so happy to see so many police officers in my entire life. It was complete chaos when they arrived. Loud, scary, guns, bulletproof vests, walky talkies, barking orders, closing off the scene. None of it felt real. It was almost like I was watching it all from outside my body.

Things went from bad to worse in the following days. Our entire Search party was taken to the police station by police escort, boot printed, fingerprinted and individually questioned. I had never received so much as a parking ticket before this, so it was a very traumatic experience for me. The way they question you and gang up on you, it's almost like they're implying that we were somehow responsible or connected to the horror that occurred in the woods.

For days afterwards, I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep and when I could, I would have nightmares of dying people crying out to me for help that I couldn't provide. When I was awake, the scene of running up to the garbage bag and seeing the girl hanging out of it played over and over again in my head until I thought that I was going insane.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and things started to get worse instead of better. I suddenly became hypervigilant and afraid. Every minute of every waking hour hour, I was constantly on alert and waiting. I fully expected "something" awful to happen to me or someone I loved. I cried constantly and the nightmares continued almost nightly. I started withdrawing from life and, except for work, I stopped leaving the house altogether.

Eventually, I couldn't cope with the demands of my job anymore either. My short term memory was shot and I couldn't even remember simple tasks. I found myself having to write everything down or the information was gone. I even had to set alarms on my phone to remind me to do important things, otherwise I would forget.

I was put off on "stress leave" by my doctor but when I returned to work, four months later, I had a particularly bad shift where I lost two patients within an hour of one another and I went off the deep end. We're talking completely lost it. Like sent to one of the hospital psychiatrists, put off work again and put on medication, lost it. Let me tell you, there's nothing more humiliating than being sent to a psychiatrist at the very hospital where you work.

Fantastic.

Anyway, I basically went bat-shit crazy and was formally diagnosed with PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I'm sure most of you have heard of it. Soldiers, police officers, EMT's, Search and Rescue and abused women frequently get it.

So, yeah.

I have PTSD.

I was ashamed of it for a really long time but I have come to realise over the years, that it is not my fault. I didn't ask for PTSD, just like the patients I once cared for didn't ask for cancer. It's just something that happened to me and I refuse to be quiet about it anymore.

So this is officially part 1 of my Stu Reardon post. I realise that it's quite long but you need to understand the framework and the background before I get to the part that I am grateful for.

Thanks for following along! Seduction Book 2 is being sent to the formatters. Yahoo! Not long now :)

I hope you are all having a great weekend and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate all of your support. Whether it is by commenting here, leaving me a book review, sending me an email or simply by reading my book. It means the world to me. Truly. Writing has been a long held dream of mine and I thank you for coming along for the ride!

Love to you all,

T.
xo