Editing

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Thus far I have semi-completed four chapters. Now that doesn't go without saying that I deleted about ten chapters throughout that process. My editor is whipping me into shape! She has some seriously great ideas on how to make my book better. It's just hard to keep deleting and cutting out entire sections of my book. Overall I know it's the best thing, but it still doesn't make it any easier. Sometimes I feel like I am never going to get this book finished. It's like the song that goes on and on, the book version. There are times that I just want to give up but it's people like you reading this blog now that keep me motivated. Thank you for helping me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Without your constant support I don't think I would have the courage to finish my book. Knowing that there are people out there who are waiting for my book to be released keeps me trucking along.

As crazy as this sounds, I already have ideas spinning in my head for my second book. I am hoping that all the knowledge gained from writing and editing this book will make my next one go by way faster. After working on 'Falling' for so long I tend to get a little burnt out. I feel like I've been going around in a hamster wheel with Rosalee and Harlan. Their story has been in my head for a year and then I've been rewriting it over and over again. Soon, I promise, it will be completed and ready for the world to enjoy. I can't wait to share with everyone else all the things I have been building upon in the book. I only hope that you all love it as much as I do. Well, let's be honest, there will be tons of people who hate it just as much as I do on some days. But that's okay. It won't be for everyone just like it's sometimes a torn in my side.

Now seriously, I am going to change out some laundry and knock out another chapter tonight. I have been slacking with my blog and I know it... sorry! Lately I haven't had the time to write, read, and review along with everything else going on in my life. Someone please tell my husband to let me stay at home so that I can devote more time to my hobbies :D Have a great night and thanks for checking in on the blog!

 

FALLing

I am about to start writing some more in my book but first I wanted to share a little with my readers. Authors are always posting pictures of how they envision their characters so I figured why not? Since I'm feeling so spunky tonight I thought sharing a little cowboy Harlan and redhead Rosalee wouldn't hurt any. Let me know what you think!!! I know you haven't gotten to meet Harlan from my preview posts but lets just say he is ideal because of course he is fiction and all. Tall, oh so tall... tan, that sun-kissed farmers tan that a man gets from working outside all day long... dark hair that you want to run your fingers through and mess up just cause it makes him that much sexier... then there are the eyes (wont lie: the characters eyes were inspired by my hubby) are the most amazing shade of green - hazel you have every seen. They change colors and when you stare deep into them you get lost looking at all the swirls of gold laced through the browns and greens. Heaven-set, I promise! Oh, and to top it all off add some dusty old boots, wranglers, and a cowboy hat!!! Totally swoon-worthy and if you aren't drooling after that image just wait until you scroll down!

When i think of harlan... i think of...

since his sexy little face is hidden, i think this picture sums it up but still leaves plenty left for the imagination to fill in the blanks
stole this one from a blogger friend of mine - sorry rin but you gotta share when you have something as tasty as he is!

http://zanypnraddict.com/

sprinkle in a little of that
ruggedly raw hotness
(especially that chiseled jaw line)

just a dash of day old stubble that you just want to reach out and rub

A smidgen of abs like those; they used wash boards back in the day, didn't they? yeah, i'd so be into doing laundry if that were still the case :D

the cowboy way - pepper!!!

add in a good dollop of pepper's fun-loving, goofy personality

"if it's got hair, i can ride it. if it's got a beat, i can dance to it"

"it's your call, stubby"

Waiter: "how would you like your steak cooked?"
Pepper: "oh, just knock it's horns off, wipe it's nasty ass
and chunk it right here on this plate"

and it ain't cowboy if you don't throw a dash or two of george in the pot! *that is so Harlan's smile*

At first she's gonna come on strong
Like She'll love you all night long
Like it's going out of style
Then she'll leave you with a smile

Well you can't help but wonder
Why you can't help but love her
But you can't help love her
And all that hurtin' was more than worth it
It's written all over your face

One day you'll pass her on the street
With that guy you used to be
She'll say hello and walk on by
Then she'll leave you with a smile

I knew the stakes were high right from the start.
When she dealt the cards, I bet my heart.
Now I just found a game that I can't play,
And this is where the cowboy rides away.

[Chorus:]
And my heart is sinking like the setting sun,
Setting on the things I wish I'd done.
It's time to say goodbye to yesterday.
This is where the cowboy rides away.

We've been in and out of love and in-between.
And now we play the final showdown scene.
As the credits roll a sad song starts to play,
And this is where the cowboy rides away.

[Chorus:]
And my heart is sinking like a setting sun,
Setting on the things I wish I'd done.
Oh the last goodbye's the hardest one to say,
And this is where the cowboy rides away.

Oh the last goodbye's the hardest one to say.
This is where the cowboy rides away.

I'm not the hero who will always save the day.
Don't always wear the white hat, don't always know the way.
I may not even be the dream you wanted to come true,
But I'll always be the man in love with you.

I'm not the key that opens every door.

I don't have the power to give you all you want and more,
But when you're needin' somethin' special you can hold on to,
I'll always be the man in love with you.

I never could work miracles.

There may be others who can do what I can't do,
But no one else can be as good as me at lovin' you.

So when the world won't turn the way you wish it would,

And the dreams you have don't come alive as often as they should,
Remember that there's someone there whose heart is always true.
I'll always be the man in love with you.

Remember that there's someone there whose heart is always true,

Someone there to help you make it through.
I'll always be the man in love with you.

hello there mr. LeDoux... i do believe that is all harlan's voice i hear when you sing to me... lets throw a good handful of that twangy southern drawl in the batch as well

Well, I never was the kind to wear my feelings on my sleeve
But since I've met you, girl, there's been a world of change in me
Well, I've got to say I love you, hope you like the sound of that
'Cause I can't keep it under this old hat

Under this old hat is the head you turned around
And the heart you stole away, the day we met
Under this old hat's two arms that long to hold you tight
And the boots I'd walk the soles off of to be here by your side
And every night in my prayers, there's just one thing I ask
That the man you love will always be under this old hat

Well, you've got me feeling things that I've never felt before
And it's so good to know when I come a knocking at your door
That of all the men who'd love to waltz across your welcome mat
The one you want is under this old hat

Under this old hat is the head you turned around
And the heart you stole away, the day we met
Under this old hat's two arms that long to hold you tight
And the boots I'd walk the soles off of to be here by your side
And every night in my prayers, there's just one thing I ask
That the man you love will always be under this old hat
That the man you love will always be under this old hat

Just look at you, girl
Standin' here beside me
Starlight on your hair
Lookin' like a dream I dreamed somewhere
And look at me, girl
You got me actin' just like a lover
In an old time picture show
And how I got the part -- I just don't know
But it's written all across your face
Plain as it can be
You're the one that I was lookin' for
Now you're all that I can see

CHORUS:

You mean everything to me
And I'd do anything to have you stay forever
I'm an ordinary man
But I feel like I could do anything in the world
When I look at you, girl

Verse:

Just look at you, girl
Walkin' here beside me
Misty morning light
I see my own reflection in your eyes
And just smile at me, girl
With eyes that tell a story
That words can never say tellin' me your love is gonna stay
And we're standin' right together now
In everything we do
And if my world should come apart
I'll still be lovin' you

now toss in some fiery,
sizzling bad-ass attitude and the smoking-hot, quick draw mouth of Doc holiday to even out the recipe

I'm your huckleberry...

It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself.

Why Ed does this mean we're not friends anymore? You know Ed, if I thought you weren't my friend... I just don't think I could bear it!

Oh, make no mistake. It's not revenge he's after. It's a reckoning.

It's true, you are a good woman. Then again, you may be the antichrist.

Why Kate, you're not wearing a bustle. How lewd.

Yes, but there's just something about him. Something around the eyes, I don't know, reminds me of... me. No. I'm sure of it, I hate him.

Maybe poker's just not your game, Ike. I know: let's have a spelling contest.


rosalee

Since my drug of choice is cowboy, you won't be getting the same elaborate detail as you did with Harlan. Sorry!
now in the book she has a different hair cut and skin tone but you get the idea
(a sexy little red-head with that girl next-door vibe but still girly and feminine)

zoey


ayden

 
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Sorry that I have not been a very good blogger lately but I needed to take some time to think. I am having troubles with my editing process. I feel like I have rewritten Falling so many times and changed so many things that it's no longer my book. I don't want to publish a book that I'm not proud of and that's just how I feel lately.

I took a month off to just focus on everything else going on in my life. After a lot of serious thought I have decided to start working on Falling my way! I'm going to strip out all of the crap that was added to appease someone else and get back to the story I started with. I would rather that longer and rework my book that just publish a book that I can't be proud of. Right now that's how I feel and I never want to feel that way again about my "art".

I wrote Falling for me to share with others. Somewhere along the lines it has developed into a book written by me for others to judge. That's not what I want at all. I know not everyone will love my book and some might flat out hate my story. But guess what, there will be people out there that love my book and beg for more to be released. Those people are the ones I want to share my hobby with. My writing is to make me happy and allows me to share my happiness with others.

As of right now my book is crap and I'll be the first one to say it. It's changed so much that I don't even know how it got so lost so fast. I could edit the typos and publish Falling but I wouldn't be proud of it. The people I want to share my book with will be disappointed and the ones who judge it will be 100% right. I can't defend a book that I don't believe in so how can I put my name on it and call it mine? I'd rather it never see the light of day then be released as it is right now.

There is a huge difference in absorbing another point of view and conforming to it. Falling has been twisted and turned and stretched so much that it's no longer my book. It's a book that someone else thought I should write instead of guiding my vision to a better place. I want my book to be the best so I know things need to be tweaked but not changed. I don't know any other way to describe how I feel and how it will turn out.

But I promise that I will fix Falling and it will be 100% my vision where I can say I am proud to put my name on it. It might take me more time but in the end I know it will be worth it. I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting me thus far and I hope you stick around for the finished product. I love opening up my heart and soul for others to experience just by living through my story and my characters. It's a unique feeling knowing that my book might brighten someone's day or make them laugh when everything else has made them cry or frustrate them so much that they can't stop reading to find out what happens next. I promise you that I will deliver you a book that gives you all of that and more!

Thank You!

 

please enjoy another round of 'Falling' - teaser 3

The night seemed like the most enchanting evening if you were on the outside looking in, and if you only had three functioning braincells. Ayden proudly showed me off as his fiancé to everyone at our pre-wedding celebration while my mother gloated over the daughter she had put so much hard work into creating. Daddy seemed to be sad, but I just shook it off as he wasn’t ready for me to be getting married just yet. Ayden and I were about to start the picture perfect life together. The two-story house, the white picket fence, and the ideal family life were waiting for me right around the corner. While the madness around me was taking place I found myself wandering to the window and gazing at the impending steel-colored clouds that were rumbling towards the city.

I thanked people as they told me how beautiful I looked tonight, and how I’m so lucky to have caught such a good catch. Little did those idiots know I had caught a shark masquerading around as a calm, peaceful, little beta fish. You know the one every parent gives their kid as a “starter” pet? The ones with brightly colored flames of red and gold or swirls of blue and green masking the fighting fish’s real identity. Yeah, Ayden was kind of like that. He was wholesome and courteous, with just the right amount of cockiness that seems to be ideal for girls without brains. Yep, girls like me. The more I dazed off into another world while my “fake life” continued around me, I found myself opening my eyes for the first time to how my life was playing out.

I was pushed around by my overbearing mother, smothered by my overprotective father and was now being transferred over to Ayden’s custody. I was simply an item that had no value or significant meaning to anyone around me, including myself. I let this happen and I never once spoke up or attempted to stop it from happening. Even now as I stare out the window ‘people watching’ in downtown Austin, I am allowing people who don’t care about me to control my life. I’m not doing a damn thing to stop anyone who is pulling on the puppet strings attached to my world. Mom yanks one way, then Daddy pulls another, then Ayden gets a tug in, while I bounce around at their command for entertainment. Come one, come all! See the side show freak Rosalee Devereux as she performs absentmindedly and without a purpose in her screwed up, ridiculous excuse of a life! Learn the dangers of living a life without cause!

As I picture myself swinging through the air, dangling from strings controlled by my loved ones, I see something out of the corner of my eye that catches my attention. There is a man calmly standing outside in the sprinkling rain just staring at me. I can’t make out any of his features but he is most definitely staring at me because I can feel the burn of his gaze on my body. That eerie feeling that sweeps your entire body like a wildfire picking up strength from a swift gust of air is gaining ground on my skin. I can feel him watching me, I can sense him looking at me, but most of all I can see him dead-locked on my figure from across the busy street.

“Rosalee!” screams a high-pitched voice that breaks my eye contact with this intriguing stranger. As I turn my head I see Zoey bouncing towards me with way too much enthusiasm. “Rosalee, there you are!” she yells louder as if she isn’t already gaining ground on me as she's stumbling in my direction. Obviously, she is staggering drunk from one too many glasses of wine and, apparently high on Redbull because she has entirely too much energy for someone so wasted. “O-M-G Rosalee! We have a huge surprise for you so stop being a loner freak just watching the rain fall from the sky so we can go up to your room! And… I’m so over this lame party anyways. Seriously, are you only related to old rich creepers that think they would even have a chance with me?” she asks as she waves her hands around her curves emphasizing her stunning body. She is talking so fast that it’s almost hard to keep up with her and the slurring doesn’t help the matter. I smile brightly at her before turning my eyes back to the mysterious stranger, but when I do he is already gone. “Come on!” Zoey screeches as she yanks my arm and pulls my tiny body. “Giddy up little pony! Yaaaah! Yaaah!” she says between giggles as she yanks on my hair as if it were a set of reins and once again lovingly pats my butt. Everyone in the party is gawking at us for all the wrong reasons, and my cheeks burn with embarrassment. “What’s their problem” she asks as I now quickly drag her towards the opening for the hallway.

Sadly, we have to pass in front of my mother- who is giving Zoey the evil eye and my father, who is trying his best to stifle a grin. My father and I meet eyes and I disapprovingly shake my head while rolling my eyes. Daddy can no longer contain the chuckle begging to be released, and is quickly jabbed with an elbow by my uptight mother. My father grunts, while my nagging mother taps the toe of her high heel on the hard surface below it. Tap! Tap! Tap! She blows out an overly loud gasp of dramatic air then blatantly comments to the crowd, “Charles… I hope you don’t condone this type of behavior. It’s unbecoming of a lady! That friend of hers is nothing but trouble and her little show is anything but funny!”

As I look around at the on-lookers, I notice that Zoey was right; the only people here seem to be rich, upper-class older people who act as if they are far too good for everyone else. Just a bunch of snobs with noses that are stuck so far up in the air that they could probably smell the rain before it even fell from the comfort of the fluffy, dark storm clouds.

My father nods me along and starts the crowd control. “Just one too many sips of wine, that’s all folks, nothing to see…” His voice is deep and raspy and you can hear the slightest hint of humor just dying to be released. “Time to wrap up this shindig anyways. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves tonight and…” his words trail off as I drag Zoey out the entrance.

Like always, Zoey is a challenge because she can’t walk on her own and she keeps fighting me to go back in there and give those prudes a piece of her mind. “Zoey… please don’t, not tonight, okay?” I beg as she reluctantly accepts defeat and tries to right herself and attempt to walk normally. “Come on, didn’t you say you had a surprise for me?” I ask her, smoothly trying to change the subject without her noticing.

Her heels shriek on the stone tiles as she hobbles towards the elevators, “I can walk on my own you know!” Zoey does her best to walk in a straight line but even on a sober day I know that would be hard for her to do. “Click… Scrape… Click… Scrape” is all I hear as I watch her try not to fall. Each step, her heel gets caught in the grout and she has to try and catch herself before she plummets to the ground.

“So,” I say to her as we wait for the ride to the room. “What’s this surprise you speak of?” I push the button several times with hopes that it will make the elevator magically appear faster but it doesn't work.

I am desperately trying to get Zoey out of my mother’s hair before there is a cat fight. If you think I don’t like my mom then just imagine what Zoey thinks, and says out loud. On occasion, my father and I play referee between those two -just like tonight. He never takes my mom’s side, but never lets her see that. He plays along to keep the peace while sneaking a wink at me and Zoey. She says everything to my mother that I am too scared to say. Zoey comes in handy sometimes when she does that, but tonight probably wasn’t the best place for it. Thankfully the elevator doors ding that annoying chirp and open their doors just in time for me to shove Zoey inside. People are starting to exit the party room so I jump aboard and frantically press the button over and over. Wishing again that it will suddenly decide to listen to my pleas and close the doors faster.

Our ride up to my room is uneventful and when we open the hotel door it looks exactly like I knew it would. Zoey and the other bridesmaids have decorated my room with tacky penis bachelorette knickknacks and cheesy congratulation banners. “Ready to get this thing started or what?” asks Addyson as we close the hotel door behind us.

The room is overwhelmingly drenched in the smell of alcohol and girly perfumes all mixed together. They either took a bath in their smell good spray before they came in or they have decided to coat the walls with fruity undertones, splashes of vanilla and lavender with whiskey and vodka throw in just for shits and giggles. I hear several of the girls scream out a few excited phrases while they rush to me. A herd of drunken sorority girls crash into me, Zoey, and Addyson and send us back into the hard, unforgiving door behind us. Fits of laughter explode like fireworks on the Forth of July as we stagger back to our feet.  

“I love it, thank you.” I respond with mock excitement as I crawl from under the pack of girls. “Oh, you really shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble,” I mutter as we make our way to the center of the room.

For the next few hours its drinking game after drinking game, and it doesn’t take me long to be knocked on my ass. Playing beer pong with vodka shots isn't recommend when cramped in an expensive hotel room with five other girls. My head is beating to an imaginary drummer that is playing inside my skull. I’ve already tripped going to the bathroom twice, stepped on three separate sets of fingers, and once, landed on top of Kady to help break my fall causing her to slam into Addyson like a set of dominoes toppling. One after another, girls went crashing into each other around the circle we had formed on the floor. We are all too intoxicated to feel the pain so we laugh it off as we unsuccessfully clean up the knocked over booze. 

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As girls begin to pass out randomly due to over indulgence at our redneck hotel party we all decide to call it a night. Kady, Addyson, and Harper are scattered on the floor, and I give Zoey my bed to share. It’s more than big enough for the two of us, and I sneak off to the bathroom for some privacy. The combination of drinking and thinking are never good together. Before long I am crying in the bathroom, hiding from my friends. The floor was freezing under my legs so I made a make-shift blanket with a hotel towel. It was oversized and unbelievably soft. It smelled like citrus and as I wiped the tears off my cheek I repeatedly sniffed the towel like a freak.

All I could think about as I sat there alone and depressed was Why. Why to everything going on in my pathetic excuse for a life. Why did I let myself get so drunk? Why didn’t I tell my best friends that I don’t want to get married or go to law school? Why didn’t I stop living all of these lies a long time ago? Why didn’t I realize I don’t really love Ayden like I should love my fiancé. Why hasn’t anyone even noticed how distant and detached I’ve become?

Not a single person has bothered to ask me if I was okay or if I was happy. Well, Zoey touched on the subject of me creepily looking out the window at the rain but she was too drunk to grasp that I wasn’t watching the rain. That shadow like figure kept popping up in my mind and for some reason a complete stranger who I haven’t even met was comforting me. Even though he never spoke a word to me, he was the only person to take note of me in a questioning manner. As if he was watching all along and knew I was holding something back; he just stared at me with uninhibited intrigue. Why was he so interested in me and what I was doing?

After my private pity party on the cold tiles of a hotel lavatory, I decided to act on what I was thinking now before I lost the nerve for it. I dried up my tears and made the decision I’ve been feeling within me for weeks. Ever since those puzzling dreams involving my grandmother began, I have been internally altered. Like I was blind my entire life, and suddenly I was capable of seeing. Everything that was hazy or faded became vivid and pronounced. Grandma was telling me to change things before it was too late. As overly intoxicated as I was, I could see the world around me for what it really was.  A huge, giant, incredibly large lie that I was unknowingly ruining my future.

I pulled the pearls laced around my neck up to my lips and quickly kissed the necklace. I whispered against the beads, “I’m sorry it took me so long Grannie Anna. If only you were here to help me make sense of everything. I’m going to make it right and I’m going to change things. Thank you for being with me in spirit and helping me find the strength to face my fears.” I felt like a patient who escaped the looney bin without bothering to take my medications first. Grannie Anna was dead and I was sitting on the cold, hard floor of a strange bathroom sniffing a towel and kissing a necklace. I’ve officially lost my mind, but it’s the best I’ve felt in ages.

I jumped up with new found life and began my mission of self-discovery. I eased open the door and stopped dead in my tracks when it squeaked a retched squeal. I nervously peeked through the crack and saw Zoey move around in the bed, but couldn’t make out anyone on the floor. I started to push on the door again, but this time I went a little faster with my motions. Four bodies laid on the ground curled up in blissful sleep and I began to silently and carefully leapfrog my way to the exit. I accidentally kicked Harper with one foot and she stirred for a moment muttering in her sleep. I held my breath and froze in my tracks with the other foot dangling in the air over her body, waiting for her to stop moving. I prayed for her to not wake up because I was not prepared to give explanations. After what felt like an eternity, she rolled over and started to drool into the pillow. I gently placed my airborne foot back to the ground. It felt like I was juggling a twenty pound weight as my leg swayed back and forth over her limp body. Every time I would try to take a breath it would begin to dip down towards her and I had to rapidly jerk it back to safety.

The exit of the room was my savior and I only had a few more feet to clear. I had successfully conquered the drunken bridesmaid’s hopscotch and defeated the testy old door. The door knob cooled my palm as I wrapped my fingers around its handle. I pulled open the door and squeezed myself out of the smallest crack without making a sound. Now the tough part, closing the door; I pretended I was a spy from Mission Impossible or those James Bond movies to help ease the fear of waking anyone. I held the outside knob tightly and began to ease it back to closure. As soon as the door was about to connect with the frame I slowed to a snail’s pace. Click. The door made one loud signal of my escape before I ran down the hallway to hide from view just in case. Didn’t want to get caught by the enemy spies and tortured for information. No, I was a woman on a mission and I wasn’t going to stop and answer questions. I waited a few moments to make sure the coast was clear then started back down the hallway. 

As I trailed down the hallway to the elevators, the room started spinning and I debate if this was a great idea after all. Then the elevator doors opened and I decided it was now or never.  I jumped aboard the elevator with about as much grace as a peg-legged pirate. “Wooooh!” It took everything I had to try and stand up straight and find the buttons that would lead me down to Ayden. 

Taking the five floors down to Ayden’s hotel suite is a very interesting experience when not sober.  Mainly because in my inebriated state, I thought it best to push every other button just to watch them light up.  The elevator went up and the elevator went down; I was in awe of the blinking buttons and chimes the doors made opening and closing at each floor. I might have also been stalling for a few extra minutes while I prepared my speech. Ten minutes later I arrived at the door to Ayden’s room; even with my detours the journey was not long enough for my liking. How I found it I don’t know, but I made it there in one piece and that’s all that mattered.

Earlier that night I had snagged his key card from his jacket pocket; I had been orchestrating this little rondez-vous for some time now. I didn't know if I would actually follow through with my plan or not, but it didn’t hurt to be prepared. I stood outside the door for a minute to gain my confidence, but didn’t hear the ruckus that I expected from the bachelor party supposed to be taking place inside. It was a relief to hear silence coming from his room because I did not want his friends knowing about my plans.

When I heard no sounds coming from his room, I whispered to myself, “Thank you oh heavenly Father!” I could only assume the boys had left after Ayden passed out. My daddy always told me that ‘assuming only makes an ass out of U and me’ but I never did understand what he was talking about.  Well, I was about to find out that little life lesson the hard way. Assuming something is the fastest way to discovering something you had no intentions on stumbling across.

As I slowly opened the door to the room I tried my best to be sneaky; being stealth is not an easy task to accomplish when wobbling in five inch heels after one too many rounds of shots. My elite spy capabilities were not perfect yet, but after tonight I could probably master something simple like tailing a car or even hiding in the bushes to overhear a private conversation. Yep, I was getting good at this being bad thing and I was starting to like it. Maybe Zoey was right this whole time, living on the edge was pretty thrilling.

I could hear faint noises coming from inside the room but I just brushed it off as Ayden stirring in bed while dreaming. Coming around the bend in the wall I saw the unthinkable. Something was a-stirring in his bed, but it wasn’t dreams.

I stood there in utter disbelief and hoped my eyes were deceiving me. My father always did say, ‘you can hope in one hand and crap in the other and let me know which one fills up first.’ Another life lesson I was beginning to learn the hard way; I would have to thank my father later on for his little words of wisdom. But at this moment in time, screaming was about all I was capable of doing.


thank you for taking the time to read my teaser!

 

FaLLING - COMING FALL 2012

ROSALEE

I was fifteen minutes late for the party and still wasn’t dressed. I hate being in a rush. Whenever I am in a hurry my mind veers off into a panicked frenzy while my body desperately tries to keep up. My thoughts bounce around like pinballs scattering from side to side in my brain without any real direction. My body desperately attempts to create a clear path for the ball to go, but despite the efforts the ball never seems to reach its destination.

At least I had my dress on- but it needed to be zipped up the back. My hair and makeup was complete, but I was still in search of a missing shoe. I hadn’t even thought about accessories as I scurried around the hotel room scrambling to finish all the last minute details. I had given up on being punctual twenty minutes ago and cursed that shoe for disappearing.

As I looked around the elaborate room, with its high-vaulted ceilings and dark mahogany wood floors, I couldn’t help but feel entitled.  Everything in the room was coated in rich, luscious fabrics and only the finest furnishings.  Red velvet drapes hang over the windows while cream-colored bedding anchors the room’s dramatic flair. The scent of cinnamon apple floats through the room, making me miss the comforts that holidays carry with them. The room strove to appear homey, but vastly failed in my opinion.

It was ridiculously over the top, but what daddy’s little girl wants, daddy’s little girl gets. This was, after all, my party. I should be prepared and relaxed, not scatterbrained and frantic. With every passing minute I tried to convince myself that this was the right decision. That marrying Ayden was everything I ever wanted and more...but deep inside I knew that wasn’t the ‘truth’ my dreams were shouting at me. The longer I procrastinated the better I felt about calling the whole thing off. Too bad I had come to terms with living a life that was chosen for me rather than because of me.

Coming from a well-known and quite established Texan family, I never wanted for a single thing my entire life. I never had to worry about anything because my Daddy always took care of me.  If a problem occurred, I only needed to say ‘please Daddy, fix it for me’, and it was magically taken care of without any effort on my part. I was after all his only daughter, and he loved to spoil me rotten. I guess what people say isn’t so true after all because money cannot buy happiness. Daddy strove to alleviate my obvious discontent by tossing money at the problem. The bubble he surrounded me with was starting to squeeze the life out of me. It almost seemed he knew I was nearing my breaking point as he dumped more financial compensation on my unhappiness, which was growing stronger and stronger. Money for flowers, money for invitations, and more money for every other thing he was trying to ignore.

The air was quickly leaking out of my bubble the closer to the wedding I got. No amount of money or ignorance was going to help me breathe again. Inhaling became a chore rather than second nature. Exhaling the little oxygen my lungs possessed was excruciating. Again the redundant phrase ‘Truth’ kept orbiting around in my mind like an Olympic track runner vying for the gold metal.

I never have any real input into what is going on around me. From an early age I was told who I was, what I was to become, and how I was to accomplish it. I come from a life of privilege and have been groomed this whole time to be the perfect daughter.  The standard I had to live up to was well above normal expectations for most.

I feel like a caged animal at the zoo. Overbearing eyes watching my every move, waiting for something to happen or a reason for the zookeepers to lock me away until I learn how to behave. Everyone was available to judge me and no one was allowed to get to know me, not the real me at least. I was to be seen but not heard. I regretfully watched through the bars that enclosed my life, knowing there would never be an escape from my endless captivity.

Even though I only met my Grannie Anna once, years ago, sometimes I feel that she has been the only person to ever really ‘get’ me. Her outlandish talk about magical worlds parallel to ours captivated my naive imagination. The so-called enchanted pearls she discreetly slipped into my palm moments before her abrupt departure tied an invisible string of hope between us.

As the necklace rolled around in my hand and I fingered each individual pearl I only felt their cold, smooth texture. Her raspy voice lingered in my ears for hours after she was gone. I remember Grannie Anna whispering softly as she hugged me goodbye, “Take these and show no one, for they are magical pearls blessed by a voodoo queen. When the time is right you will know how to use them and why they were created for only you. They will lead you to where you need to go even if you do not know the way. Fear not my darling, only good will come to you as long as good is all you release back into the world. The spirits of nature will carry you to your true love if you only allow them entrance. You are brave Rosalee, you are special, and they can never take that from you. There is truth out there if only you choose to let it in once it finds you. I love you, darling and I will see you again. No one can keep us apart, not even your father.” Her cryptic message never made any sense until recently when the dreams started to come to me.

I stood staring in the mirror, checking myself out before I would have to make a mad dash to the elevators.  One of many engagement parties were being held downstairs for my upcoming nuptials.  Once again I would I put on a happy face and play the role of perfect daughter and fiancée.

My Daddy had rented out the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin for tonight’s extravagant celebration. The hotel was over a hundred years old and was known for hosting numerous events for socialites like myself. My father really had outdone himself on this occasion, but that was a normal occurrence with my family. He had arranged for tonight’s guests to have rooms at the hotel while the party would take place downstairs in the restaurant.  We had family coming in from all over Texas, from El Paso to Houston. 

Everyone was going to be there tonight to celebrate my special occasion except the person I wanted most – my Grannie Anna. After her sporadic visit my father forbid us to keep in contact, until he told me when I was eighteen that she had died. He said she had died peacefully in her sleep and that he was her only child. Whenever I would ask questions he would say that he was an only child and that he had no family back home in New Orleans.

Knock! Bang! Knock! Bang! I was thrust out of my thoughts by a loud and obnoxious pounding on the door and knew instantly it was my best friend and maid of honor, Zoey. “Hello! I know you’re in there!” she yelled through the thick wooden barrier. “Open the door!” she continued as she banged relentlessly at the door. Zoey was by no means a patient person. With every thump against the door you would have thought there was a rhinoceros slamming against the entrance...but no, it was a petite yet feisty little girl on a mission.

I yelled back to her, “Hold on! I'm coming!” I pulled up the zipper on my dress while scurrying to the entrance. My feet glided across the velvety carpet as I ran towards the door, and an agitated Zoey.

As I reached the door I could hear her yelling again, and this time she was even louder. “The best man isn’t going to be snagged up by some other trash you call a bridesmaid because I’m stuck here waiting on your slow-poke ass to get ready!” Zoey continued to beat on the door as if she didn’t hear me say I was on my way. 

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I barked back as I unlatched the safety lock. “It is my party you know! So I can be fashionably late if I want to!” I said as I pried open the hotel door and let her in.  She rolled her eyes and smacked me on the butt as she passed through the entrance. My bottom burned from the violent show of affection and I tenderly rubbed it to ease the pain.

I didn’t even try to fight back a smile; Zoey always brightened my day whether she knew it or not. She sure did have a way with words as well as with men; I don’t know what she was worried about being late for. She was beyond perfection; every guy wanted her and every girl wanted to be her.  She never stayed attached to any one particular guy for too long because she said life was too short. She was wild and untamed and I envied her for it.

She was no less than 5’7” with waist length, blonde silky strands that flowed like liquid gold.  She was built just the way the boys liked and she knew just how to use that against them. There was no doubt in my mind that she had absolutely no competition for the best man’s heart, but I think she just liked giving me a hard time. She could always get a rise out of me no matter how hard I tried to stop her. Her intentions were never honorable and I knew good and well she wasn’t interested in stealing any hearts tonight.

“Seriously Zoey, as if you need another notch to add to your bed post,” I said with a smirk.

Zoey and I have been best friends as long as I can remember.  I might have not had a sister but she was my adopted sibling from the day we met. She is very different from me, which I think only makes us a better pair.  Where I am all sweet and classy, she is uninhabited and over the top.  She loves the spot light to be on her and loves any attention she can get. She is the most loyal person I’ve ever known and I don’t know if I could make it through life without her by my side. 

She stopped in her tracks, “Excuse me… little miss virgin! Some of us actually enjoy the company of a hot, sweaty man from time to time!” She winked at me while snickering, “You know Rosalee, you might enjoy it if you ever gave it a try. My bed post is severally dented for a reason and it isn’t for a distressed finish.”

I narrowed my eyes at the back of her head, “You know some people might think you were a whore if they didn’t know you.” I giggled as she shot me an evil glare over her shoulder. “Oh… the rumors are true! So you admit to being a total a skankadoo!” Zoey instantly turned on her heels and started her retaliation.

She tackled me onto the bed and fiercely tickled my feet while sitting on top of me. I tried to thrash and wiggle out from beneath her, but it was useless so I reluctantly gave in, “Uncle! Uncle!” The moment she released one foot I blurted out my forced apology, “You aren’t a skankadoo!” As I felt my remaining foot slip from her grasp I continued, “Now you’ve gone and messed up my hair, are you happy?” I rubbed my fingers through my locks as I righted myself on the bed.

“Your hair was already fixed?” she asked jokingly.

“Yes!” I said as we both chuckled at our immature horse-playing that was only further making me late to the party. “Now can you be of some help? I’m missing one of my heels and I’m convinced you had something to do with its disappearance.”

She stood from the bed and pulled down her black dress before helping me in my hunt to find my missing shoe. “If I was going to steal your heels then it would make more sense to take both of them you dumbass! Plus, no one can feet their feet into your midget sized shoes anyways.” Zoey lifted up the covers that dangled over the edge of the bed while yelling out, “How does someone misplace a shoe anyways? This room is a pig-sty! What have you been doing in here besides procrastinating?”

I stuck my head through the bathroom door while saying, “I’m a nervous wreck Zoey! I’m late and I’m not even close to being ready. You know how this will look to my mother; she’s already been on my ass all morning! And for your information I do not have midget feet, sasquatch!”

Zoey pulled herself off the ground and shot me a dirty look, “Watch it princess.” she said while snickering at me as I ducked back into the bathroom before she could toss the pillow she was holding. “Chicken!” was all I heard before I slammed the door closed.

I always tried my best to be prim and proper to appease my family, but Zoey always knew how to test the limits on the bubble I placed myself within.  She always got us into trouble but somehow always managed to sweet-talk our way out of it just as quick. She gave my boring, bland life the swift kick in the rear end that it needed.  There was never a dull minute with Zoey and I was grateful beyond knowing for the tiny slither of excitement she gave my life.

She was always trying to bring the wild side out in me that I never thought existed. Given the opportunity, she would push me to test the limits that my parents strictly enforced. My father ruled with an iron fist and had no problem reminding me that anytime I dared to cross the line he had set forth before me. He would tell me that he had raised a lady and by no means should I ever be treated as anything less than that as long as he was still around. Daddy was very much the typical, southern gentleman that believed woman should be idolized, not degraded. Although honorable in theory, it was not always the exciting route to travel when you wanted to be rebellious.

I bravely came out of the bathroom to see Zoey laid out on the cream-colored bedspread. “Zoey!” She opened one eye while giving me a half smile. “Will you at least help pick out some jewelry if you aren’t going to help find my other shoe?” I ran around the oversized bed to the closet only to spot my shoe sitting there on the floor like it had been there the entire time. As I stared at the heel it almost seemed to taunt me from where I stood. I snatched up the cocky little runaway before walking to the full-length mirror so I could check out my soon-to-be completed outfit.

Zoey sat at the small vanity in the corner digging through my jewelry box as she asked, “Which one do you want, jewelry or shoe?”

“I found the sandal- it was hiding in the closet. Pesky little bastard!” I screeched as I marched across the room on a mission.  “Any luck?” I questioned, while looking in the mirror at myself.

I stood there with my little 5’2 rail-thin frame, trying my very best to fill out the Chanel dress I was wearing.  I was by no means as well-endowed as Zoey was, but I like to think that my ‘assets’ were in proportion to my size.  I might have only been a hundred and ten pounds soaking wet but I didn’t look scrawny.  I was naturally a petite girl who portrayed the average girl next door when it came to looks. My Italian/French heritage made me look just the tiniest bit exotic but still left me looking plain Jane enough to blend in with the norm. I like to think that I stand out in my own special way.

The dress I was wearing was a beautiful shade of cream that made my olive-colored skin glow in the color contrast.  The Chanel dress fit like a glove; it made my little perky breasts look a cup size bigger and my tush look amazing. The dress curved around my body like a second skin. It was almost to my knees with a small split up the center of the back hem line and little cap sleeves draping over my shoulders.

My auburn hair was down, and lay just below my shoulders with a slight curve in toward my heart-shaped face.  The color sparkled like the perfect mix between crimson red and hot chocolate brown.  It was the perfect combination of colors to accent my eyes and skin tone. Thank the Lord for Brazilian Blowouts and Lance, my hair dresser, for taming the mess I refer to as my hair. Although it is silky straight tonight that is not typically the case.  My hair is naturally curly and most of the time downright unruly.  Things like that didn’t matter when I could spend five hundred dollars getting it done by the best hair stylist in Austin. I swear Lance worked magic with his hands when tackling my wild tresses.

My eyes are almond shaped, and are just big enough to give me that doe-like expression that everyone seems to love.  I personally think they look freakishly large, but I always seem to get compliments on them regardless.  They are the deepest color of brown I've ever seen; they are so dark they almost borderline looking black.  My mother has the same color and eye  shape. These traits have been passed down for years in her Italian lineage.  My father always did say it was my mother’s eyes that made him fall in love with her. He would joke that I was going to be a heartbreaker just like she was, because no man in his right mind could resist eyes that enchanting. Thankfully looks were the only thing I had in common with my mother.

Now that I had both shoes, I started squeezing my little size six feet into a pair of olive green ‘fuck me’ pumps as Zoey called them.  The five inch platform Christian Louboutins I was wearing suddenly made me feel confident as I slipped them on. They seemed to make me stand straighter and my butt look plumper.  Zoey had helped me pick them out a few weeks ago since she was my self-proclaimed stylist. I was always too modest to wear such gaudy shoes but Zoey gave me the strength I needed to pull them off.  Maybe the way they made my body change instantly was why Zoey referred to them as ‘fuck me’ pumps. I always assumed it was because they were stripper-ish in design, but looking in the mirror at my reflection I could now see what she truly meant.  They made every part of my girlish figure transform into a mature, sexy young lady as though they were magic Cinderella shoes. A perfect fit considering I was about to head down the stairs to meet my Prince Charming.

“Yeah, I think so.” She answered before standing to her feet. “I’ve never seen you wear these before…” she drifted off mid-thought as she flowed across the room toward me. She could be so poised and elegant when she wanted to be...but most of the time Zoey was quite the character.

As she walked closer I could see what she had dangling from her ivory-toned hand. Laced through her fingers and bouncing with each step she took were the soft, creamy pearls that I had long forgotten were in my jewelry box. The simple string of pearls she held absently in the palm of her hand began to flood my mind with intense memories of my grandmother.

“These are classic and I think they will help make you look like a whored up version of Jackie-O,” was all she said as she helped put the pearl necklace around my slender neck. As the rounded balls graced my collarbone I felt a surge of energy flow through my whole body.

Memories mixed with my recent dreams came crashing down on me with intense force. Bam! Bam! Bam! One after another rapidly flew through my mind like a seagull taking flight at the beach after he finds a lonely crumb on the sand. I take a ginormous gulp of air as I sense Zoey walk away from me. Those pearls opened up a piece of my soul. And just as quickly as it all came to me...it escaped . Nothing made sense, but somehow I still felt the slightest tingle haunting me as I twisted the beads around my fingertips.

Grannie Anna had given me those pearls the before she died.  I never wore them for fear of losing them, but tonight seemed like the perfect occasion to wear them. She said they were blessed with good luck and would help me find my soul mate. Grannie Anna was a Cajun-French kook from New Orleans, Louisiana who spoke of voodoo witchcraft and spells. I just blew it off as her being old and crazy; it was part of her charm and I never questioned it. Just like being under that old oak tree, these pearls made me feel connected to her. It instantly brought me back to a sense of calm knowing I had a piece of her with me tonight. I can’t be positive but I truly believe that the lingering prickles tracing through my veins is a piece of my Grannie Anna. Somehow she was telling me that everything was going to be just fine and for the first time in a long time I felt complete.

“Hmm… I will try my best to take that as a compliment, but I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to compare Jackie-O to a prostitute” was all I could say in response to that previous statement. Here I was thinking of my sweet little grannie and there Zoey was talking about whoring me up.

Just as my eyes were starting to get watery at the thought of my grannie, Zoey abruptly stopped my moment of remembrance with yet another wild comment. “Seriously Rosalee…you look freaking hot! Ayden is going to fall out of his chair when he sees you!” I turned to see her checking herself out in the mirror and giggled to myself quietly. She wasn’t even looking at me as she spoke. “Well, that’s if you hurry up so we can make it to the party before it’s over.” She turned from the mirror and started walking straight for me while raising her voice to an authoritative tone, “I swear you are so damn slow!” As I jumped up from the end of the bed she started to smile brightly while gently tapping me several times on the butt again, “Scoot… Scoot my little darling! Let’s get this show on the road.” She grabbed my wrist and proceeded to drag me towards the door.


 
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I've been working on my rewrite of Falling and I must say that it keeps getting better and better! I love the progress that I'm making with Rosalee & Harlan's relationship. Decided to take it down a different path and I am nearly finished. I can't wait to have it all done so that I can publish it! I hate that it's taken longer than expected but my job {husband insists that I have to work until I make it big} has been getting in the way of my writing.

I took some time away from the book and just focused on reading to give me inspiration. I have read so many books this last week or two that I can't even keep count. But now I am ready to get working on Falling for you guys to enjoy! Hopefully I can post a teaser soon so that ya'll can get another taste of Rosalee's life.

Well, let me get back to writing since I left off at an interesting spot in the book. I've also decided to change the both from both Rosalee & Harlan's POV to just Rosalee's. Then I am going to take what I've written thus far and continue to edit it for a spin off book for Harlan's POV. Well I hope this little update helps because I have been horrible about keeping people updated latel

 
I have been working hard on getting Falling ready to release but it is taking way more time than I expected. The more I force myself to write it faster the less I want to write it at all. I've decided to just give myself more time and get the book completed the way it should be.

I'm struggling with writing a book that I would want to read and writing a book that most might want to read. I don't like it when an author overly writes and describes every single detail to me like I am an idiot who lacks imagination. I feel like in my rewriting process, I am becoming one of those writers. While I think some parts should be overly written to give a good idea of what you want the reader to envision, I don't think every sentence needs to be that way.

This book is just making me mad lately... I want to have the right amount of both so that I can tell the story I want but have it relatable to others. I feel like lately I've been so consumed with trying to finish the book and give so much detail that it has turned me off from my own book. I'm just going to take a few days away from the book and read some others for inspiration. See how the people I like to read have composed the book's overall theme. Take notes of the parts I like and the one's I felt weren't necessary.

I feel like when I am too involved in my book and writing the way someone suggest I should write puts my mind in to overload. I forget the message I am trying to send out because I am so consumed with the small details. Being a first time author is confusing and stressful. There are days I can't peel my fingers off the keyboard and others that I don't even turn on my computer at all. Add in the new stresses of working all day and being so tired at night that I want to sleep more than I want to be creative... it's just overwhelming!

I'm going to shoot for an August release date that way I can make this book my own. I don't like feeling smothered by my own artwork. I'm not writing this book for everyone else. I'm writing this book for me and I want to share it with everyone else. That's why being Indie is so amazing! No one can tell me what I should write and how I should be writing it. Those are choices I get to make all on my own and I feel like lately they have been taken from me. Not so much as someone saying, "hey don't do that do this instead" but more as in, "do it better and faster".

I want to write it amazing and slowly as the characters come to me and take the book where the adventure leads me. I don't make an outline or go by character descriptions because that's just not how I operate. Everyday I wake up I have a different reason for being alive. Some days I wake up and I want to be a selfish bitch while others I want to give the shirt off my back. There are days that I want to show my husband how much I love him by spending all day together talking and taking the kids {aka dogs} for walks etc and others that I just want to be left alone, not spoken to, and not bothered with. Sometimes I am moody and snappy and sometimes I am sweet and loving. No day is every the same and I am never the same. So I can't write with a purpose when I can't even live one. My characters are honest to the author I am able to be. I like to change them up as I go along and take them places that inspire me as I write their future.

Feeling forced or believing my technique is flawed is burning out my fire. I don't want my fire burnt out because this is the first time I've ever felt passionate about something before. So, I'm sorry if it's annoying and frustrating but I promise it is for the better of the book and my sanity. I am hoping for August but don't be surprised if it isn't until September. I'm putting my heart out there for the world to judge and I have to believe in myself or else this entire process is pointless. I could release Falling tomorrow but I wouldn't be proud of the work that's complete thus far. Sure it's a story and it's complete but that doesn't mean it is perfect just yet. I still have a lot of edits to make and plenty of things to smooth out so it flows properly. It's a work in progress and that's all I can really say about it.

Thank you for understanding : )
 
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Okay people... this is rough and still unedited by the professional but I thought I would share a tiny section of rewriting. I am changing once again so many things that I really believe I am writing the book for the third or fourth time. Each time I think it's getting better and better but you can be the judge of that. Now remember, this is seriously the first time I'm sharing this with the world and I am nervous!

In exactly two months, I will officially become Mrs. Rosalee Lyn Covington. It was four years earlier when I saw Ayden for the first time.  He was parked in the front row of our small classroom awaiting our teacher’s arrival.  He was stunningly handsome in his sleek dark denim jeans and pressed button-down shirt with the long sleeve rolled up his forearms casually.  The array of blues in his eyes remind me of the ocean.  His enchanting eyes range from the crystal, clear sky blue of a calm sea to a devilishly detracting navy like a rough wave splashing against the shore.  The colors intertwine creating a current of silent emotions and leave you getting lost in their depths. The blue shirt he wore only made them shine brighter while outlining every muscle that was trying to hide beneath it. 

To say the least, I could tell he was a very distinguished young man from my vantage point.  Strong, thick arms that any girl could only imagine being wrapped up in; they appeared to be tender while still looking destructive enough to know you were completely safe when with him.  Ayden had the most gorgeous dirty blonde hair that fell just below his eyebrows.  He was the perfect mixture of pose and chaos creating an illusion of overall effortlessness. 

As I stood in the door way like a lost puppy with my mouth basically drooling at the sight of him, I was suddenly being bumped into by my best friend, Zoey Andrews. “What ya looking at?”  I snapped my head in her direction as she continued, “Oh my, never mind, I can see from here what has you needing a hankie to slurp up that slobber.” Her eyebrows bounced up and down jokingly indicating her intrigue in the beautiful guy only rows in front of us.

My face instantly turned bright red with shame of being caught in the act. After being notified that my gaping stare was noticeable to the entire world, I decided to discreetly place my butt in the closest seat available. While fumbling with my book sack and creeping into a desk, I decided I would try to brush it off like it was nothing. “Well Zoey, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about,” trying my best to sound convincing.

I did my best to stare into her eyes to show her I was fearless, too bad she has known me since I was eight and saw straight through my facade.  The gig was up and I was about to have to tell all before she caused a scene.  She was by no means shy and didn’t hesitate to threaten me with embarrassment on a regular basis.  She never did it to be mean or hurtful but she was just a different breed of person.  It was part of her charm and charisma; she was too curious for her own good sometimes.

“Hmmm… Hmmm…. Well now, Rosalee, we certainly are quite the liar, aren’t we,” she said while tapping her pencil on the desk rapidly to catch my attention. The barely there sound of the bouncing pencil mimicked the racing heart beat in my chest. Thuh-Tump… Thuh-Thump… Thuh-Thump. When I looked up from my desk she dazzled me with her sweet smile of innocence trying to lure me into a trap. She wasn't stupid and made a point to give me that, 'try it' look that dares you while terrifying you to your core.

If Zoey didn’t know me so well, I might think she was oblivious to my internal panic. Her cheesy grin meant only one thing; she knew I was a nervous wreck. You could see the dazzle in her eyes as the wheels turned in her head. Zoey was about to blow my cover and I knew I had to spill the beans before she did it for me.  She had no shame when it came to being brash in public. With every tap of her pencil I knew my time was running out along with her patience. Every crack that pencil made against the desk was another second ticking on the clock of her patience. She was dying to burst out loud with her newly found knowledge that she so easily read from my nervous tendencies.

 I took a deep breathe drawing in all the air I could muster up before blurting out, “Okay, okay… I might have been…just maybe… a little tiny bit checking out that hot guy in the front row”. Well that was enough to get her started, who needs a coffee when you have Zoey to shake the morning drag right out of you. I exhaled the gulp of air that was lingering in my lungs as I watch Zoey light up with excitement. She thought she had found a new pet project to work on but I had different plans for this particular situation.

Zoey had good intentions but her methods were a little unorthodox to say the least.  Most of the time she didn’t even realize she was embarrassing me with her tactics. Being boisterous and impulsive were normal personality traits for her. She never did understand how someone could go through life being as meekly inconspicuous as I did. She knew all too well how uptight I was and her main goal in life was to break me out of my little box.  

Zoey finally stopped smacking her pencil on the desk and all I could hear was the faint buzzing coming from the surrounding conversations. She proceeded to tell me, “You do know that’s Ayden Covington, don’t you?” She shifted her eyes from him back to me and raised her eyebrows in a questioning manor before continuing, “He's the captain of the football team here at UT and is said to go pro even before he graduates.” I nodded for her to keep going and she obliged. “I think his family is forcing him to complete college first, because from what I hear, he had an offer from the Dallas Cowboys.  Nothing starting or anything, but a pro-football player is a pro-football player, no matter how you flip the coin”. Her eyes sparkled with delight as she looked back at Ayden. If I didn't stack a claim to Ayden then Zoey wouldn't hesitate to pounce on him.


I snuck another quick glance at Ayden while she was distracted.  I needed to continue my investigation with Zoey before she got sidetracked. If anyone knew anything about the most recent gossip, then I was talking to the right person.  I needed information on this hunky guy and I knew she had what I was looking for. She was probably already doing recon on him for herself. I swear she knew everyone in Austin; she could tell you every single break-up, make-up and cat fight that occurred. She was a walking, talking, breathing issue of People magazine for the locals around here.

As she gazed across the classroom at the group of boys I knew she was making plans for getting their attention. Zoey was lost in thought when I nudged her arm off her desk almost causing her to topple over. I fought back a laugh as she caught herself mid-fall. She stifled out, “bitch” under her breath as I pretended to not be involved. “You’re so lucky you are my bestie or else I might have to kill you for that little stunt!” Her eyes burned into the side of my face as I tensed my jaw muscles harder to hide my smile. I slowly turned my face to see her giving me the stank-eye, “Don’t act innocent because I know you did that shit on purpose.” I couldn’t hold my grin back any longer and we both started giggling in the back of the classroom causing everyone to stare at us. My cheeks ached from laughing so much and we only stopped after I noticed the eyes focused on us. When Zoey saw my stunned expression she did a quick assessment of the room and froze her gaze on the closest person gawking at us. “What? Is there something I can help you with? Well, besides that wretched hairstyle and those tacky shoes you have on?” The girl turned fifty shades of red and fluttered her eyes away from us while everyone else followed suite. Zoey cleared her throat loudly before finishing, “That’s what I thought, skank!”

I was mortified by Zoey’s over-the-top performance and felt sorry for the girl that was randomly chosen as her target. I turned my focus back to Zoey, “Okay, I think she gets it. I think everyone gets it!” I snatched her arm and pulled her back farther into the desk. “They were just curious about why we were laughing so hard.” Zoey turned back to look down at the hand I had wrapped around her slender forearm. “Oh… sorry, so you were saying?” She stopped giving me that, ‘you are too nice’ glare and began to smile again when I brought up the topic of Ayden again. “So do you know if Ayden is single? Is he seeing anyone?” I fidgeted with my finger nails and began stripping the pink paint off.

It was a nasty little nervous habit that I had picked up but it met my need of distraction just fine as I moved to a second nail. My mother wouldn’t allow me to bite them so I quickly learned that ripping the paint off was acceptable. She would take one look at my tattered nails and request an immediate trip for a mani/pedi. That was about the only time we ever bonded as mother and daughter.

Zoey didn’t even try to hide the arrogant grin plastered on her pretty little face.  “I don’t believe he does, from what I hear he is single.”  Her smug smile grew bigger with every passing word while her eyes lit up with mischief. “Do you want me to introduce you to him?  I know one of the guys he is sitting with and I could easily help you meet him right now if you like” saying nonchalantly. She tossed her blonde hair over her shoulders as she reached in her purse for some lip gloss.

Oh no, she’s primping! She is totally serious about walking down there right this minute and introducing me to Ayden as her lame friend with no backbone. I abruptly dropped my half painted nail and jerked my hand towards her arm again. I grabbed her forearm with enough strength to make her turn and face me.  She was already pushing herself off the desk and I needed to stop her by any means necessary. I fiercely whispered “No! No! NO! Please don’t Zoey! I am begging you to please not help me with this one.” As she scooted back in her chair I continued, “every time you meddle in my life it never has a happy ending.” She glared back at me with eyes of disdain and I gently let her arm fall from my tight grasp. “This time I want to do it all by myself.  Just help me figure out a flawless plan, please?” I crossed my fingers under my desk while giving her my biggest puppy-dog eyes.

Her face was scrunched up and her eyes still daring but then she giggled breaking the silence between us. “Fine!” she said defeated while whipping her bleached strands back around her neck. “But seriously, if you grab my arm like that again, I will bitch slap you, best friend or not. The last thing I need are bruises on my arm before my date with Alex tonight.” I rapidly exhaled the breath I had forgotten I had taken during the anticipation of her response.

Of course she was more worried about her appearance than my sanity. I gently nodded in agreement about the no touching rule that was now in effect. Usually I didn’t get so physical but I was acting out of fear. I felt justified in my harsh reactions even though I was embarrassed by my rudeness. “I’m sorry Zee… did I hurt you?” I gave her the puppy-dog face again but this time I tilted my head to the side a little for a more dramatic effect. Her response was an eye-roll but that was enough for me to stop feeling bad. Zoey could go from fuming mad to peaceful bliss in a blink of an eye. On occasion, I thought she might be a tad bipolar but then again that’s just her personality.  

The professor strolled into the classroom and began the normal first day boring speech every teacher gives. The conversations died down and people slowly began to focus on the tiny, bald man in front of the classroom.

After composing herself from her little outburst she settled her eyes back upon me and whispered, “My little girl is growing up! How cute!” Her smiling lips were stretched across her face in pure joy as I saw the wheels turning in her head of her soon to be plan of attack. “Okay… I have an idea but it’s pretty juvenile but it works, I promise it will work.” She continued to hash out her plan with me between breaks in our professor's lecture.

This was something I needed to do on my own.  Someone else was always fighting my battles for me and I thought it was time I changed that.  I needed to find some independence if I ever expected to make it in the ‘real world’. Starting college was my gateway to freedom and I was going to take advantage of it. It took almost a year of begging but daddy finally agreed to let me live in one of the dorms on campus with Zoey.  He was worried that without him around to keep me in check that I would go hog-wild.  I promised a million times that I would come home the first time I messed up and that seemed to appease him.

After class, I waited to see Ayden heading up the aisle before I decided to make my move.  I wiped the trickle of sweat off my palms and onto my blue jeans before getting out of my desk and heading in his direction. I did a few deep breathes as I traveled the short distance towards him. As he neared, I promptly drop my books in front of his pathway trying to get his attention.  Sure it was a lame attempt, but a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do, right? Zoey swore it would work so I trusted her wholeheartedly.

The books slammed into the ground with a loud thud and scattered around in front of his feet. I let out a false gasp of shock before saying, “Oh-my-god! I’m so sorry!” I flopped down in the walkway and started to fumble with the books trying to gain more time with him.

His burly voice warmed my insides as he leaned down next to me, “It’s okay, here, let me help you with those.” Ayden smelt absolutely delicious and all I thought about was getting closer so I could sniff him. Overwhelming musky aromas of cologne sent my body into a frenzy and I fought hard to control my action. The last thing I needed to do was tackle the poor kid and smell him to death. Ayden's hand brushed up against mine as we both reached for my law book, “So, are you pre-law too?”

I tilted my head up and our eyes caught for the tiniest few seconds before I absently started to nod my head up and down. I gave him a weak smile before asking, “Yeah. Is that your major too?” Ayden nodded in return but gave me the smile that only money could buy. His teeth were pearly white and perfectly straight. They accented his gorgeous lips and made his blue eyes dance in the florescent lights. “Ahh…” I stuttered on my words and glanced behind me to see Zoey smiling proudly from the back of the class room. She fluffed her arms at me trying to indicate to keep going so I did just that. “Umm… maybe we could study sometime?”

Ayden tucked all of my books into his massively large hands and stood up from his hunched position. I weakly followed by standing up and noticed how short I was next to him. I had to stretch my neck and jolt my head back a ways to see his face. So he was hot, built, tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. I'm pretty sure he was perfect and I was just lucky he gave me a second glance.

“Sure.” Was all he said as he started walking towards the exit with my books still in his grasp. I turned back again to Zoey but she was gone; she must of taken a back exit and ditched me so I couldn’t back out of this. I raced to catch up with his gigantic strides when I turned to see he was half-way out of the classroom. When I caught up to him and indicated I’d take my books back he just starred at me dumbly for a second before responding. “I got it. Can I walk you to your next class?” I silently agreed with a simple shake of my head as we walked down the hallway.



 
I promise I didn't forget about all of you guys! I love you guys and feel horrible for neglecting you and my website. I was visiting my family in Louisiana for a week and have been disconnected from the world. I haven't been able to read a lot or do anything productive for my site. I did however get some feedback from my editor about Falling!!! I am working hard on revisions and taking longer than expected due to my recent employment. I started my new job today with the City and have been crazy busy. Falling will probably be delayed since I will have less time to work on it but I am trying extremely hard to get it done by the end of July.


3 Little Bookworms


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On my ridiculous long drive across the huge state of Texas and all the way across Louisiana I did get a chance to listen to an audio book. This was my very first audio book and I have to say that I didn't hate it. It was better than listening to the radio for 10 hours while being trapped in my car. I went through several samples before I picked Delirium. The voice suited the theme of the book and seemed to interest me over others. It's not something that I would listen to on a regular basis because I do like reading and creating the characters in my head. But the audio book met its purpose and entertained me when reading wasn't an option.

First off, let's start with the voices! The girl who narrated the book did a great job... but it wasn't what I would of imagined if I had read the book. She would change her voice up and down to mimic the other characters and that bothered me. The voice for Alex sounded like too much like a girl and it turned me off! Every time I heard his dialog I was instantly put off and couldn't focus on their relationship. The other voices were annoying but they were all girls so it didn't crawl under my skin as much as Alex's voice did. I didn't fall in love with the love interest and that was disappointing :( I ordered the second book because I got a free trial for two books but I haven't decided if I want to listen to it or not.

Secondly, I can't decide how I feel about this book. I enjoyed it but then I can't decide if I want to finish the series. There is a novella titled Hana that fits in between the two books and gives Lana's best friend's point of view. *SPOILER ALERT* I read ahead of the reviews and was extremely pissed off about what Hana does to Lana & Alex. I felt like it wasn't fitting with the story I ended on... I won't go into too much detail but I don't believe this side of Hana's character. I am only about 25% through it and I don't really have a desire to finish it if that indicates anything?

And lastly, I didn't enjoy the story being told to me because it felt repetitive. Hearing the voice act out the emotion then hearing the voice tell you the emotion trying to be depicted was redundant. For example: Susie longingly said, "I love you Johnny!" - It's great if you are reading the book because you can tell that Susie is desperately telling Johnny she is in love with him but when you hear it twice it gets distracting. Also, the author was a little too descriptive if that makes any sense? Sometimes she would go into so much detail that I zoned out. At some point in the story I don't need every feeling and emotion the character is experiencing being described in overly written detail. For example: Susie felt the air breeze by her face like a tender caress while gazing out into the deep blue ocean getting lost in it's vastness. She heard the crickets chirping faintly in the distance like a mother's delicate voice singing to her new born child. The Autumn leaves crinkled loudly as the wind brushed harshly against the trees surrounding her. Susie longingly said, "I love you Johnny" as he pushed his wooden boat off the shaky planks that creaked beneath her feet. She sat on the shore line watching Johnny's silhouette disappear into the distance while her heart slowly ripped out of her body with each row he made. - I get it when it's in the right place and the right time. I don't care about the wind and crickets! Get to the point already. Maybe I am wrong but it just seems forced. While beautifully written and descriptive down to the last little word it is overkill in my opinion. My writing style is a little more fluid and realistic; I prefer the reader to draw some imagination and create their own world. Anyways, that's just my opinion but I will say that Lauren Oliver is a wonderfully talented author who wrote a captivating story.

Sadly torn in between like and dislike : (  I'd recommend you try it out for yourself since I honestly can't decide how I feel about this book.

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contest #1
Kindle giveaway

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I was thinking about hosting a Kindle Giveaway and need some advice? What do you think should be the winning factor in the contest? A trivia game with the highest score? Maybe someone who submits the best short story? The person who helps promote my upcoming book the most (ie. like page, comment on blog, share on facebook etc.) or something else? I am willing to buy and mail a Kindle to the winner; I just need to find the perfect contest for it. Please let me know what you think? You can e-mail me your contest ideas at nldufour_books@yahoo.com

Contest #2
create a character

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Falling Book 2 - the winner will help create, name, and form the perfect character in my next book. Whether you want to go dark and make the bad guy or if you want to find Rosalee's best friend, Zoey, a man of her own. I'll give you full range to help me create a character for the second book in the Falling Series. Give me some ideas