Thursday, April 28, 2016


Posted by: CobraMisfit
“It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.” – John Paul Jones

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky.

Ask any artist and to a one they’ll tell you that their hobby/profession is crammed with doubt. Can I do this? Can I finish it? Will anyone like it? Will I like it? The very nature of art carries with it a significant level of risk because you’re putting yourself into a product that is presented to the masses. And, to be honest, the masses can be pretty judgmental at times.

Finding the courage to take that kind of risk, however, can come from many different sources.

Recently, the chorus I sing with had the chance to perform Andrew Lippa’s “I Am Harvey Milk”. Considered a “concept opera”, the piece chronicles major milestones of the late politician’s life. At one point near the end, Anne Hutchinson, from Act 1, comes on stage to provide Harvey encouragement.

You may get wet.
You may get lost.
You may get high.
But leap and you never have to die.”

Powerful words, but also excellent advice for writers. Yes, it requires planning, honing, and editing, but writing also requires faith. In yourself and in your story. More important, you have to believe in what you’re writing and your ability to do so before you write it. Then you have to make the leap and actually do it.

There are a lot of people out there living with Could Have. Could have been a gymnast. Could have been a dancer. Could have been an accountant. Could have married that person. Dreams, ideals, hopes, all left behind because it required a leap of faith they couldn’t make.

Then there are those who leaped once only to crash and burn. A rejection letter on a manuscript, a poor review for their role in a play, laughter from those around them as they stumbled asking someone out on a date. Rather than “climb that climb” once again, they set aside their dream for safer ventures. But they look back from time to time and think “Could have.”

Art is scary. Then again, so are all things worth doing in life. It’s the scythe that separates living from merely existing. Those moments that become seared in your mind, both good and bad, come with inherent risk . From writing to dancing to telling someone you love them, every step along the way is marked with the possibility of success or failure. But being willing to make that leap, to risk the consequences or benefits that come with it, define who we are.

You won’t know what you can become if you don’t leap. 


Joshua Roots is a car enthusiest, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

Paranormal Chaos, the final book in The Shifter Chronicles, is available wherever digital books are sold.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The View from the Cheap Seats

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
We're celebrating the release of THE DEVIL'S DOORBELL this week, so I'm sharing this terrific wordswag that contributor Megan Mulry made for me.

I think it fits here because, hey, the supernatural!

It's been super fun working on this project with these amazing other authors I love - both as friends and as writers. It's also the first self-published group project that I've spearheaded. I contributed to another group anthology, and self-published some novellas and backlist stories, but not a "bigger" project like this.

And it's super gratifying to see it sitting at #5 in erotic anthologies this morning, the day after release!

It's interesting to be getting into self-publishing at this point in my career. As many of you know, I started with digital-first presses, like Carina Press, which brought many of us here, and moved from that into more traditional publishing. These days, as with many authors in traditional publishing, I'm moving more and more into a hybrid state. I'm putting eggs into as many baskets as I can.

Which, I'm frankly glad to have the many opportunities writers do today.

The other day, though, a friend made an exasperated comment to me about how she advised me two years ago to self-publish instead of doing digital first. And it reminded me of this moment, from The American President, a movie that's a wonderful romance, too:

Huge thanks to Adam Sass for making the gif for me!

I love that moment when Michael Douglas, as President Shepherd, asks, "Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats?" Now, I'll caveat that Martin Sheen, as AJ, happens to have a great comeback here. He's a kingmaker, an archetype I love. He replies that if he wasn't the one in the background, giving advice, then Shepherd would still be the most popular professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Fair enough. The moral being, the advice of the kingmaker should always be heeded.

But, also, we're all kings of our own careers and no one gets to second-guess the decisions we make. Advice is one thing. Hindsight is another.

There's a tendency in publishing - perhaps in all things, but I see it a lot in publishing these days - to look for the Magic Bullet. Many espouse the One True Way. Maybe this is a side-effect of the gold rush syndrome. It's easy to look at the very successful outliers and say, "See? THAT is how you do it." Or worse, "THAT is how *you* should have done it."

Which is complete and utter bullshit.

Even if I had done exactly what, say, Marie Force did, there is no guarantee I'd be making the money she is. In fact, I feel it's a sure thing that I would not be, because I'm not her and I don't have her same path in life. Nor is my path hers.

I think the problem is that people want to reduce life decisions to a series of formulas. If you put in x, add y, you'll get z. But this thinking is reductive to a damaging extreme. The universe is a complex, complicated and delightfully random place. Nobody knows the meaning of life or what we're here to learn.

I'm pretty sure, though, that regardless of religious or philosophical persuasion, we can all agree that the meaning of life is not to make as much money as possible. Which means that God, or Tao, or the Universe, or what-have-you, does not set our paths according to rewarding us with vast fortunes. That may come our way, but usually that's part of teaching us some other lesson.

Which is why I always think of the view from the cheap seats. It's easy for other people to sit back and say what we should do. But all we can do is make the best decision that we can at the time. I made my decisions for good reasons and I regret nothing. Even the directions I've taken in life that felt like "wasted" time or dead ends have all contributed to who am I today. I put a lot of faith in that.

Besides - all in all - there's worse things than being the most popular professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Write...What?

Posted by: Unknown
When I tell people I’m a writer, most want to know what I write. Depending on my audience, I’ll answer with science fiction, romance, or sometimes science fiction romance. I rarely label what I write as gay romance.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed by what I write. I’m not. That’s my name on the cover of every book. Not a pseudonym. I love my guys and the stories I tell about them. I want people to know these books are mine. But getting into the gay thing can be an awkward conversation starter, particularly if you don’t really know the person you’re talking to.

My deflection doesn’t always have good results. I have told someone I write science fiction only to have them answer, “My nephew LOVES science fiction, what’s the name of your book?” 

The nephew in question is eight. I’d love to imagine an eight year old reading a story about two men who reclaim their love in the aftermath of a devastating war. But we kill a lot of people in the Chaos Station series. And then there’s the sex. On the page sex. Lots of man parts, described in sexy detail.

My books are not appropriate for an eight year old.

So I tack on the caveat, “Oh, well, they’re romance as well.”

Everyone knows science fiction romance is all about space barbarians needing to have sex with every woman on the planet in order to save the universe, right? Well, everyone I’ve ever mentioned my books to does.

Except for the woman who told me, “My husband likes sex! I’m sure he’d love your books.”

“But does he like reading about sex between men?”

Honestly, I really should just tell the truth from the beginning. “My books are gay romance. One series is science fiction, the others are mostly contemporary romance. I’ve got one coming out this summer that’s paranormal. A mystery writer adopts a cursed house cat shifter from the local shelter.”

That, right there, is the point where I lose them again.

So is what I’m writing really that weird? That difficult to explain?

My friends get it—or simply don’t care what I write. They’re happy I’m published because I’m happy to be published and they buy my books because I’m published. Some of them actually read them and then tell me embarrassing stories about what they thought gay sex was all about, and how their perceptions have been changed—and that's a good thing.

Others flat out ask the follow up question. “But why are you writing gay romance?”

There’s no simple answer to that one. Well, actually, there is. I write science fiction because I love science fiction. I write romance because I adore love stories.

It gets a bit more complicated from there.

I write gay romance because I will never tire of putting men in situations where they must confront their emotions—regardless of whether they do it with a grunt or over a romantic, candlelit dinner. I write it because the stories in my head at the moment often have two male protagonists and, because I’m in love with love, they usually end up together.

But here’s the thing. I’m not really writing men. Or just gay men. Yes, my characters are male and some of them identify as gay. Some are bisexual, some of them don’t care to put a label on it. I see them as people, though. I’m writing stories about two people falling in love.

Some of these stories are set in space; some of them include guys who can shift shape into house cats (and squirrels. I’m not looking forward to explaining that one). They’re about college students and forensic accountants. Travel agents and art appraisers. Mystery writers, soldiers and property developers. I’ve got a baker and a numbers guy in there. They’re young, old and in between. Some have broken hearts; some have never been in love. More than a few have bit of a belly because I kinda like a little belly on a guy. Lots of them wear glasses. An extraordinary number have blue eyes because I’m a sucker for blue eyes.

I don’t set out to write gay men (or bisexual men, or otherwise), I’m just writing guys. And, often, the stories aren’t about their orientation. The plumbing on the object of their affection is important as the colour of their hair (until we get to the sex).

My stories are about guys being, well, guys. Falling in love—and fending off a marauding alien or two. So, when people ask me what I write, I start with that, because, honestly, that’s how I think of my books. I write science fiction and I write romance. Sometimes I combine the two.


Phase Shift, the final book in the Chaos Station series (co-written with Jenn Burke) releases next week! You can read Chapter One on our website. There, you can also sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with release news, giveaways and free extras.

Phase Shift

Book five of Chaos Station

Zander and Felix’s relationship has always pushed boundaries—personal and professional alike—but their love and commitment is stronger than ever. So strong that Zander’s ready to ask commitment-shy Felix the question of a lifetime when he’s interrupted. The Chaos is being hacked, and crucial, top secret information about the project that created Zander—and his fellow super soldiers—has been leaked.

Neither man could have expected the enormity of what’s discovered at the end of the data trail: an entire colony of super soldiers run by the very doctor who changed Zander’s life forever. And now she needs them both—Zander to train her new crop of soldiers, and Felix’s new crystalline arm to stabilize their body chemistry.

With help from the unlikeliest of allies, Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew must destroy the project and all its ill-gotten information. But when the team is split up and Felix is MIA after a dangerous run, galactic disaster is a very real possibility…and Zander may have missed his chance to ask for forever.


About Kelly

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Visit Kelly Online:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Western Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 39.9K
$2.99 e
(and coming soon to print!)

He gambled and won something more valuable than money. He won love.

It started off as a little R&R on a backwater planet. All Ruce Haulk wanted was a place where he could breathe some fresh air, have a stiff drink, and perhaps while away a few hours at a game of chance. He should have known better. Before he's aware, he's embroiled in the middle of a flesh-peddling scheme, and the woman he "wins" is someone he never expected to find.

The moment Remi Clysonne saw the stranger take on Yarnell and his men single-handedly, she knew he was her only chance at escaping. She doesn't blame him when he doubts her claim that she's there to bring Yarnell to justice. What's more, she suspects there may be another reason why he's reluctant to offer aid.

What should have been a brief layover quickly becomes an all-out struggle for survival as Haulk and Remi battle their way out of an increasingly tangled mess. But the secrets they're keeping from each other may tear them apart before they manage to get away from this world and to safety.

Warning! Contains a clothes swap, levitating locomotives, watery soup, a pretty silver star, thousand-degree heat, attack dirigibles, and two people totally unprepared for whatever the future might hold for them.


* * * * *

It's not magic, but it's delicious!


A woman’s pleasure is a dangerous thing. A primal appetite that, once awakened, can never be sated. A secret that gives power to those who know it. A magic that, once unleashed, can never be contained.

 Some say the clitoris is the devil’s doorbell, set to summon him forth at the merest touch… 

It’s time to ring the bell. Here are seven tales of sexual empowerment and erotic defiance, featuring the hottest storytellers of erotic fiction.

 Anne Calhoun
Christine d’Abo
Delphine Dryden
Megan Hart
Jeffe Kennedy
Megan Mulry
M. O’Keefe

 Exact Warm Unholy, by Jeffe Kennedy

 Tonight my name is Mary… Or is it? Sometimes she’s Tiffany or Syd or Bobbi. But whatever face she wears, she returns to the same bar, to find a new man and seduce him, safe in the knowledge that no one will recognize her. Until one man does.

What They're Saying... 

 “In a world that works hard at limiting women’s choices through draconian laws and social pressures this collection of stories is different. The women in these stories are not waiting around for someone to show up and show them a good time. Nope. These women are going for it. Erotica featuring empowered women? Bring it.”

 ~Writing While Distracted

 “Fans of anthology will have gratification of seven erotic short stories by various diverse best-selling authors. These tales had unique plots which made the readers think. Honoring women’s bliss in passion.”

 ~Romantic Fanatic

A werewolf in London romance.

DOCTOR WOLF out April 27

Liz Jekyll might be the most wanted werewolf in London—wanted for dating, that is—but she doesn’t take it as a compliment. In fact, it’s a wretched nuisance because Liz has a vital secret to hide. What she needs is a disinterested werewolf who could pretend to be her boyfriend.

Carson Erving would be very interested in Liz if it weren’t for Gentiana Aeternae. The botanist werewolf from Alabama has found the legendary Elixir Gentian, and ruthless people will do anything, kill anyone, to get their hands on a plant that can grant an extra hundred years of life.

As danger explodes around them, two very independent werewolves will have to do the unthinkable and rely on one another. But when Liz’s secret is revealed, who will die?

Doctor Wolf is currently a special release price of 99c (US dollars).  Buy now! at Amazon. Free to borrow for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In Memoriam

Posted by: PG Forte
I don't know about the rest of you, but 2016 isn't even half over yet and I am DONE with all the loss and grief. All the death....

Seriously. I'm afraid to ask who's next. Go home '16: you're drunk.

Originally, I'd planned to blog about my experiences in Las Vegas last week at this year's RT Booklovers Convention. But what happened in Vegas is just going to have to stay in Vegas--or at least in my head--for a few more weeks. Thursday's news about Prince has left me too depressed to think about the future right now. So instead, I'm going to post a scene from the beginning of Ashes of the Day. It seems more fitting.  

December 31, 1999
New Year’s Eve
Damian leaned against the railing of the second-floor balcony and cast a jaded eye over the crowded ballroom below. The decorations were a tad overdone, in his opinion. Gaudy gold-and-silver Mylar festooned every surface—the bar, the tables, even the walls. The glare all but blinded him. Overhead, a billowing mass of champagne- and platinum-colored balloons were tethered to the ceiling, awaiting the stroke of midnight, when they’d be released. The last day of the year had dwindled down to the final hour. Y2K was on the verge, that ticking time bomb that would shortly send the world hurtling back toward the dark ages…or not.

Either way, Damian could not find it in himself to be concerned, or even very interested, in the fate of the world. The new millennium, as most people counted it, was about to begin. For the time being, however, it was still 1999 and the throng of people gathered on the dance floor was certainly partying like it.

Exhibiting far more enthusiasm than skill, the crowd sang loudly along with Prince’s signature anthem as they bounced and gyrated to the music. The once-familiar song struck a bittersweet chord in Damian’s heart and he closed his eyes as nostalgia overwhelmed him. How many times had he danced to this same record back when it was first popular? He didn’t feel even remotely like dancing tonight. Hadn’t felt like dancing in years.

Memories rose in his mind of a supple young body pressed tight against his own, warming his back, more often than not. He remembered arms holding him possessively close, sweet lips dropping kisses all along his cheek, his neck, his shoulder…

He remembered the feel of strong hands splayed on his hips, guiding him as they moved together, thrusting, grinding, taunting each other with graphic reminders of everything they’d be doing together later in bed.

Oh, how he longed to feel that way again, careless and wanton, desired, loved. Oh, how he longed to hear that sexy voice whispering in his ear. To feel those muscular arms encircling his waist or his neck, or wrapped around his shoulders. To see that smile, hear that laugh, just one more time.

Knowing those wishes would never come true, that those days of joy and innocence were lost to him, gone for good, never to return, did nothing to improve his mood.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I'm sensing want to read this blog post. Does that make me psychic?

Posted by: Angela Campbell
From the archives: A version of post originally appeared on Here Be Magic in 2012, but it's still relevant to my books, so I thought I'd update and share it. Enjoy! - Angela


These days I’ve got psychics on the brain, because I'm finishing up another book in my psychic detectives series.

I’m fascinated by all of the research I’ve been doing into the topic of psychics and psychic abilities. Do I believe in psychics? Well, sure. I wouldn’t be writing about them otherwise. But I’ve also grown pretty skeptical about them over the years. Like pretty much everyone on planet earth, I’d love to have advance knowledge of events so I can exploit it to win the lottery, find my soul mate, know when to go to the doctor, and know what career path is going to reap happiness and success. But I also think there are probably a lot of charlatans out there taking advantage of people desperate to know that information in these uncertain times.

Okay, I admit it. I’ve used the services of a psychic in the past, uh, once or twice — when I was much younger and curious. This one psychic had been featured on some forensics TV shows, so I figured that gave him some legitimacy. He was dead on about some things, and dead wrong about some others. For instance, he knew I was a writer — he could tell by my erratic finances, which he said were always up and down (snort) — but he also told me I’d go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, get inspired to write a book about the place which would later get published, and oh yeah, I’d also meet my future husband while there. He would be older. The psychic thought my future hubby's name was John. The kicker was this was supposed to happen within 10 months — and that was about 10 years ago. Still single. Never been to New Orleans either. John, are you reading this? Call me.

A few years ago, I was given a real "fluff" assignment at the newspaper where I worked. A pet psychic had written a book we were going to feature for Halloween on our “pets” page. I was set to interview her by phone. Well, all righty then. I called her — she was, I think, based in Los Angeles — and one of the first things I asked her was, “Can you offer any proof to our readers that you’re psychic?” She invited me to email her a photo of my cat, which I did while she held on the line. A few minutes later, she freaked me the heck out when she said something that amounted to, “Your cat says you’ve been going through a lot of papers lately — like thumbing through papers, throwing them in the floor, making a mess in her space. She wishes you would stop. She says, 'Tell her to stop throwing junk in MY floor.'” At the time, I had been in de-clutter mode at home, going through old boxes of college papers and newspapers and junk I had kept for whatever reason. Okay, that was eerie. She continued on with my free reading. She said my cat was showing her a photograph of a man placed on the wall beside where my cat liked to take naps, and he was dressed in a policeman’s uniform. Was he my husband? Because my cat really loved him. Uh...actually I think she was referencing an old photo of my dad placed in the hallway. He'd been a cop for 32 years, and he was in uniform in the picture I'd framed. And yes, my cat LOVED him because he fed her lots of kitty treats whenever he saw her.He was putty in her paws.

Funny thing is, my dad’s name is John. Coincidence? Or just weird? Hmmm.

What about you? Do you believe in psychics? Have you ever visited one? Tell me your stories in the comments below. You never know. They might inspire another book of my series!

Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series from Harper Impulse. Learn more about her and her books at Looking for a psychic mystery that's a little spooky? Here's a recommendation (it's Book 2 in the series, but it can be read as a standalone, and it's currently only 99 cents!):

Something wicked this way comes…

All homicide detective Dylan Collins wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of Charleston, SC – a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he'd just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.

It doesn't take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra King is the real deal – and the killer's next target. Dylan's protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn't sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra's secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness – if the killer doesn't strike first?

Amazon |  Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble |  Nook (UK) |  iBooks |  Google Play |  Kobo 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Three SciFi Romance Book Trailers For Your Viewing Pleasure

Posted by: Veronica Scott
I love having book trailers made for my novels. I have no idea whether they actually enhance the sales of the books, but I enjoy having these mini movies. I'm sharing three by three different production houses - which one do you like best?

Here's the newest novel:

 And the trailer for the first book in the series:

 And one for an earlier novel. USA Today Happily Ever After recommended this trailer!:

I enjoyed the creative process involved in all three, where I had to approve the music, and did some selection of stock photos and video. It's interesting to see how the professional video-makers tell the story, based on the blurb of course.

Maybe someday I'll be able to afford a custom made video, with my own actors and sets, but for now, these are fun for me.

So, do you pay attention to book trailers? Do you have a favorite from another author?

Buy Links for Star Cruise: Outbreak
 Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   Apple iBooks

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Flash Fiction - Don't Open the Chest!

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I’m a were-mongoose; small, fast and mostly immune to poison. That was about to be tested.

The fabled Pandora’s Chest was in the pit. So was a seven foot long King Cobra. Or it could have been eight feet, maybe ten. It was coiled. Only its head was raised, undulating in that weird way snakes have. It was mesmerising.

HerpestesFerrugineusSmit “Snap out of it.” My best friend and treasure hunting partner, Breanna, nudged me in the ribs.

I rubbed my side. “You have the sharpest elbow.”

“That’s because I poked you with the key.”

The key was as long as my hand, old, and forged of bronze to unlock Pandora’s Chest. We only wanted one thing from the chest: the Eden Chart.

“Maybe we should have refused to take the key from that weird nun,” I said.

“You want to visit the Garden of Eden and steal those Apples of Wisdom, or not?” Breanna demanded.

I studied the cobra’s weaving head. Back and forward, side to side. I blinked. “You know what happened the last time someone ate one of those apples.”

“Yeah, yeah. Edith got over-clever and bopped Isaac Newton on the head with one. Voila, the Industrial Revolution.”

“Pollution, environmental destruction. Eeeek—hsss!”

My best friend had just pushed me into the pit. Breanna never had much patience for philosophical discussion. Fortunately, shifting from human to mongoose is instantaneous and I landed on four feet and launched myself at the cobra in a whirlwind of teeth, fur, claws and aggression.

Breanna scrambled down on a rope—she’s plain human—and darted past the cobra guardian to unlock the chest. She opened it. “Got it!”

The cobra smacked the chest closed with its tail.

Breanna didn’t waste her breath squeaking. She shoved the Eden Chart under her shirt and swarmed up the rope. I was two seconds behind her, digging my claws into the pit’s dirt walls and scrabbling up and out. We lay flat on the floor of the temple cellar and panted our exhaustion and triumph.

We should have run while we could.


Sorry, sorry. I know this was meant to be flash fiction with a complete story, but this snippet just wrote itself – and now I have no idea how to end it, or even who the narrator is!

The prompt word was "cobra".


If you enjoy shifter romances, my new release, DOCTOR WOLF -- out in just 7 days -- has a werewolf botanist hero and a pack princess heroine.

A werewolf in London romance. 

 Liz Jekyll might be the most wanted werewolf in London—wanted for dating, that is—but she doesn’t take it as a compliment. In fact, it’s a wretched nuisance because Liz has a vital secret to hide. What she needs is a disinterested werewolf who could pretend to be her boyfriend.

Carson Erving would be very interested in Liz if it weren’t for Gentiana Aeternae. The botanist werewolf from Alabama has found the legendary Elixir Gentian, and ruthless people will do anything, kill anyone, to get their hands on a plant that can grant an extra hundred years of life.

As danger explodes around them, two very independent werewolves will have to do the unthinkable and rely on one another. But when Liz’s secret is revealed, who will die?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Being Kind--To Yourself

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
We do everything. We work, haul kids around, pay bills, file taxes, cook dinner, do the shopping, try to balance the budget...

Somebody's got to go to the school conferences, the work conferences, and if you're incredibly lucky, a reader's conference like RT which just wrapped up in Vegas this weekend.  (I didn't go this year, but it's a wonderful experience if you can go!)

Then there's the chores. House. Yard. Homework. Doctor's appointments.

We schedule and plan and bullet list weeks, months, and even years in advance, trying to take care of everybody.

But do you actually slot in time for YOU?

I'm not talking about doctor's appointments or work meetings -- but time to just take care of yourself. Something that makes you feel good. 

This is something I really struggle with.  In a perfect world, our families would telepathically know when we need a break or a boost, but let's face it.  I'm lucky if someone will help me with the dishes, let alone say, "Honey, why don't you go take a nice long bath and let me do these dishes..."  Hahahaha, that never happens, at least in my household!

It has taken me awhile, but I've finally made an effort to take those breaks for myself.  The dishes can wait an hour or two and if I'm extremely lucky, someone might decide to do them for me.  (I'm not waiting because I'm pretty sure hell will freeze over first.)  I'm going to read a book.  Take a nice long bath. Drop in some essential oils.  Or maybe even make a fizzy bath bomb to enjoy.  Sit on the deck and have a glass of wine.  (Not while taking a bath though. I'm sure the neighbors would be traumatized.)

Whatever it takes. I need that downtime to find the creative well inside and bring it forth.

I need to stop all the frantic to-dos and add one important slot every single week.  Time to be kind to myself.

What kinds of things make you feel rested and refreshed, ready to face another mountain of tasks in your life?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Flash Fiction Challenge

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape

Welcome to Here be Magic's Flash Fiction Challenge!

We had 12 words. You should find them all in the snippet below:  

Hallucinating * Calculator * Abomination * Cobra * Acrobat * Attachment 
* phantom * vigilante * revenge * miracle * ocean * ecology

They called him a vigilante, out for revenge, but all he wanted to do was make sure the abomination known as the Cobra never got a chance to hurt anyone else. 

When Jenny had died, the shrinks had told Kyle he was hallucinating. Owens Petrochemical had a perfect reputation for maintaining the ecology and the purity of the ocean, though they admitted to using the tidewater to cool their machines. There was no way that Richard Owens had let one of his experiments get out of hand, let alone doing harm to a sweet young intern.

But Kyle knew better. He’d been there when Owens transformed into the giant snake and killed the only girl to whom Kyle had ever had a serious attachment. Though he was a math student, more at home with a calculator than a romance novel, he’d even planned out his proposal. Now, not even a miracle could bring Jenny back. But the bastard who’d killed her could be brought to justice.

Kyle knew that, even as he trained with a retired circus acrobat, who’d also been a cat burglar. He’d always dabbled in martial arts, and now he increased his training. His electrical engineering roommate had built all the spy gear Kyle needed to learn exactly what Owens was up to. He’d done plenty of reconnaissance. In six months, six interns had gone missing from Owens. That was more than just coincidence.

It was a full moon tonight. The Cobra would strike again. But this time, the Phantom would be waiting.

* * * * * 

Check out Cindy Spencer Pape's latest release, Curses, a paranormal romance novel available in paperback or e-book at Amazon, through the Ethan Ellenberg Agency. Buy Link


Some people are really cursed when it comes to love!  For innkeeper and witch Melissa MacRae, a family curse means that falling in love is the ultimate bad idea. Author Jonas Pierce is a werewolf, who has seen too much evil to even  consider  passing on his curse to another generation.  So why does a hot summer fling have them both thinking about happily ever after?


EPIC Finalist and 4 Stars from Romantic Times Magazine: “The characters are appealing, and passionate sex leads to a satisfying romance.  Well-developed histories make the couple real and one readers will care about.”
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