Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rest in Peace, sweet Rooney.

I lost one of my best friends today. Rooney had to be put to sleep this morning. He couldn’t breathe on his own.  Even with strong meds, IV fluids, and days on oxygen, he wasn't getting better. I couldn’t let him suffer anymore.
He passed  in a bed of comfy blankets, stretched up against my leg, with his head in my lap. I hugged him, caressed his soft head and wrinkled face and told him how much I loved him. How honored I was to be his mom. How proud I was of him for always being such a trooper. What an incredibly good boy he was. I told him how much he would be missed. How he would be in my heart--and in so many hearts--forever. And ever.

He drifted to sleep peacefully. I don’t know how long it will take before I can sleep peacefully again. For the past two nights I’ve tossed and turned, staring at his empty chair beside my bed, praying he’d get better. Begging any and all gods, and the universe, to bring him home so I could roll over and see his cute face pressed against the pillows of his chair again. My prayers weren’t answered.
He’s gone. My heart feels as empty as the big comfy chair where he used to sleep.

The house is too quiet. I keep waiting to hear his paws on the hardwood floors, or his tail thumping against the couch and walls, or him barking for no good reason.

Our shoes are right where we left them. I cry every time I see them. 
I don’t want to wash my hands, or my shirt, or his blankets, or his stuffed toys, because I’m scared I’ll wash away his scent and never be able to smell him again.

I walk into the kitchen and start to cry because he’s not following me. He’s not staring up at me waiting for food. He’s not sitting on the rug in front of the sink. I can’t get used to him not being under my feet. It never bothered or annoyed me. I loved him being there.

I can’t bring myself to touch his bowls. He wasn’t supposed to get any extra treats because of his sensitive stomach, but now I wish more than anything I had given him some eggnog on Christmas because he loved eggnog so much. I had no idea it would be our last Christmas together.

I didn’t take enough pictures and videos. I look at the hundreds I have but they aren’t enough. I should have taken more. None of them captured how sweet, loving, and precious he truly is was.
My lap is so cold as I sit here typing these words. For years, I haven’t typed without some part of his body pressed against me. I had to start typing just to make sure I still could without him by my side. He was there for every book I’ve written. Right beside me. Always.
It’s so quiet, and cold, and lonely. I feel sick, and lost, and empty. My snuggle buddy is gone.
I know he’s free from pain, in a better place, in a beautiful heaven where he has more treats, toys, shoes, and eggnog than he could ever ask for. I know all of that, but it doesn’t dull the pain. I know time heals all wounds, but could someone please press the fast forward button?
I miss him more than these inadequate words can express.

Rest in peace, Rooney. I love you times infinity. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Friday, December 20, 2013

I Write What I Love

I see at least one tweet, FB post, or blog post a day discussing what the next big thing is in books and/or how to be a successful author. YA, NA, Contemporary, Edgy, Erotica, Horror! Write serials, write a trilogy, write a stand alone. Get an agent, self-publish, go hybrid. Write fast and produce at least 4 books a year, slow down and focus on quality over quantity.

If I followed all of the advice I'd be dizzy, frustrated, and totally confused.

Honestly, I don't give a squat about any of it.

I don't care what the next big trend is. I mean, maybe I care out of sheer curiosity, but even if Jane Austen's ghost visited me and said, "I've been to book heaven and the next big trend is space westerns with leprechauns who time travel! Be the first to write one!" I would laugh at her, decline, offer her some coffee, and then discuss Mr. Darcy.

Because here's the thing: I don't love westerns. I could probably come up with a fun leprechaun story, and I do have a cool time travel idea bouncing around my head, but I certainly don't want to write a space western featuring time traveling leprechauns. I wouldn't love it.

Short stories? I'm bad at them. And I don't enjoy writing them. Heck, it was hard for me to cut down the word count on ALL four of my 85-95k word count novels, so I'm not a candidate for the novella/serial trend. And I'm okay with that.

If, some day, an agent loves me and one (or more) of my stories, and believes strongly enough in me and a potential partnership together, then hooray. But I'm not going to shelve every manuscript that gets rejected by agents. I'm also not going to stress myself out by trying to crank out 6 books a year when I know my maximum is currently 2 books a year. I'd end up slacking on the quality and not being proud of what I produced.

Life is too short to write stories you don't love. At least for me that's true. I will keep writing my magical romances because that's what makes me feel good. Those are the kind of stories I want to read, and I write books that I would love to read.

Recently, I read this PW article where agents discuss the new trends in YA. Many said contemporary is probably going to be the next "it" thing, and that dystopian and paranormal are dying off. I still love paranormal (probably always will) and I just read a fabulous Dystopian last week--Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, so neither of those genres are dead for me.

Then there was this...
Stories about creatures of all kinds—“werewolves, shapeshifters, selkies, mermaids, or anything with a tail or wings,” is how Jaffa puts it—are simply not selling.
The irony, says Bourret, is that a lot of already published paranormal is still selling well. “But there are just too many books in the category, and because it’s overpublished, it’s a lot harder to have a hit.”
As an author who hasn't hit it big with her paranormal/supernatural/fantasy books, I have to agree that the market feels over-saturated. Many days I feel like an invisible fish in an endless ocean, but it doesn't make me give up. I love being an author way too much to stop writing just because I don't make a lot of money. Every book I release has pieces of my heart and soul in it. I wrote every book because I wanted needed to. I loved the characters and the story and I couldn't NOT write them.

That's how I will always operate--with love. I owe it to my readers to love the stories I share with them. In my opinion, that's my only hope of them genuinely loving them too.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Free Fantasy Book! INITIATE by Tara Maya

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn't appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

"Join our circle, Dindi!" the fae voices gurgled under the water. "Dance with us forever!"

"No!" She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, "Dispel!" but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn't be coming up again.

"Dispel!" It was a man's voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

"Better?" he asked.

She nodded. He was young--only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

"Good." He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi's hand touched skin--he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

"It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that," he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. "What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?"

Tara’s blog
Tara’s Twitter
The Unfinished Song on Facebook
Barnes and Noble


Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Popular Posts


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Blog Archive

Write. Read. Imagine. Create. Learn. Love. Live. Repeat.