The Truth

Most of the times I hear a term like "an insider", I'm reading the back cover of a thriller novel or hearing that deep voice of the movie trailer announcer. So my brain started processing the term anew when I heard it this week about CSM Bolyard and his death in Afghanistan.

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In case you're curious, there's a weird balance maintained by military families during a time as trying as this. Morbid curiosity is a no-go...yet, we are all thinking about it. Why did it happen? How? Who of our friends are affected by such a horrible loss? 

I watch my friends cry.

I hug them, knowing their life will never be the same...because they have lost a friend, a husband, a colleague.

But I don't cry out there. I didn't know this hero. I have only heard about him secondhand or read about him online, like every one else. My tears come later, and they are for the greater loss that our country experiences every time we lose a member of our Armed Forces. They are for my husband who will be deployed again. For the Gold Star families who have already started rebuilding and moving on. 

The more I hear about CSM Bolyard... that he was 42, getting ready to retire, a family man...a true United States hero...

Killed by an insider. 

After reading that and thinking on it for a day, I finally asked my husband, "What does that mean? He was killed by one of our own?" Isn't that what insider means? Do I even want to know?

It means that someone, who our troops were there to help and train, came in and gave us the middle finger. [those aren't my husband's words; they are mine] CSM Bolyard is the 154th person killed by an insider attack since 2007.

I stared at my husband for a second and then asked, "Why are we even over there?" I know what this means now. It means that none of our soldiers are safe, ever. What 'friendly' will be the next to turn? In what month? At which Base? How can I let you go, knowing you might not come back?

"Politics." His words. "We train them. We give them arms; they take them and give them to ISIS." They don't understand the world like we do, with peace as an ending solution. They want us all dead.

"So, why are we over there?" I ask again. And he shrugs. He too struggles to understand such hate. Are we protecting innocence and freedom? Are we fighting the injustice of the world? For him, the answers are simpler. He serves his country; he demands a better life for his home and for the world. He wants women to be respected. He wants children to be loved. He wants the elderly to be honored. In every culture. And he wants peace... 

For me, the answers are wrapped up in emotions and turmoil and more questions. And tears. For my sister Army spouse, who suffers the loss. For our country, who has lost its focus and finds value in Political Correctness instead of Truth. 

And it makes me think about Truth. The truth of knowing our world will never see peace until we surrender to the God who created us all. Until every man, woman, and child knows the salvation of the cross, our world will suffer from sin.

And all we can do is get up in the morning and love one another. Be the light in a dark world. Share the burden of our loved ones. And pray. 

For Peace. For Change. For Life. 

Sending prayers for the Bolyard family. Timothy Bolyard, you and your family are in my calendar, and we will never forget. Rest in Peace.

With Love,

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On SALE this WEEKEND!

Well, I'm totally excited that SquareSpace has a new Campaign Feature. I've been using Mailchimp a long time, and after the permissions debacle of 2018, I'm just fed up with how much they are limiting my ability to put out meaningful content. When I want to. There is always a fluctuation in the newsletter part of the business. People join because they want a freebie, or maybe they sign up during a party in hopes of winning a prize. A month or so down the road, they'll unsubscribe. 

With every newsletter I put out, I gain a few and lose a few subscribers. And when I lose subscribers, Mailchimp tags that as a negative, or spam. No one likes losing subscribers, but it happens. Even I unsubscribe at times, especially when I'm just not interested in the topic anymore. 

I'm curious to see how the new feature over here develops. I've already had a great conversation with a Squarespace Rep about the feature and what I would want/need...like being able to send out a "thank you" after someone subscribes. And with the thank you, a copy of a digital book. It's in the works!  This stretches my brain and makes me think of alternative means of reaching my readers. Never a bad thing!! 

I'm 100% impressed with SquareSpace. I've been with them for a few years [or more?]. My sister recommended them to me. And I have not been sorry...not even one little time. Not even a smidge. Customer service and their reps are worth their weight in gold... and if one happens to be really skinny, maybe worth more than their weight in gold. 

Oh!! The SALE!! Right, so I created a campaign that I will send out tomorrow morning. And I put the entire Hawk Elite Security Series on sale. So, if you haven't, subscribe to my newsletter [this includes the list from Mailchimp, so if you signed up over there, you are signed up over here]. And then run over to Amazon and grab Strike Back for FREE and books two, three, and four for only $.99....or you could gift them! :D

Real Author Life

I hate to get on the snapshot social media of Facebook and brag. I know that seems silly...and people do like to cheer each other on, which is amazing in the world today, because we can also be so negative. Maybe that's a reason TO brag on Facebook.

However, I haven't quite made that hurdle to putting myself on center stage there without some kind of barrier, like a blog. 

 2016, Proof Pic 1

2016, Proof Pic 1

And I'm here because...it's a long story. One that involves six kids, a husband who loves to run, type 1 diabetes, and me. Me: last year. [we both look a little goofy, eh?] I hate this picture, and when it was shot, I was annoyed at the photography because I let myself believe it was the angle of the photo, right? stupid, of course. 

I must have been a good 165 pounds in that photo. Not morbidly obese, but well-overweight and on my way to worse.

Jump ahead another year. [see photo below!]

Somehow I'd managed to loose a few, and then it became that I was just so sick of myself! I eat vegetables and fruit and healthy stuff...but I hadn't quite kicked the habit of picking up the sweets as well.  During this year, I read "Big Girls Do It Running," (link goes to the authors amazon page because i can't find the book), and I related to the author whose story it was. I remember the days when the diabetic diet was more about low fat than low carb, and we were eating Angel Food Cake because it was "good for us." Times have changed, thankfully!

 2017, Proof Pic 2

2017, Proof Pic 2

And then, I made the decision to go to NYC for the ThrillerFest Convention. Late 2017, I paid my [whopping] fees, looked at myself, and asked, "Are you going to be the Fat Romance author at this event?" Which isn't very nice of me, at all. But, I was talking to myself and sometimes, you have to be a little mean with yourself, you know? I didn't want to be filling any stereotype or cliche. 

So, in January, at 158 pounds, I cut the sugars--alot. Not completely, but enough that I saw a few pounds drop right away. And then I saw an advertisement for a kickboxing class--free, at 5am. I didn't go right away. I had to get brave. What if I failed? What if it was just like the running I'd done over the years--unsuccessful and discouraging?

But I kept seeing it pop up in my FB newsfeed. So, finally...I went.

 Day 1: Cardio Kickboxing: Death

Day 1: Cardio Kickboxing: Death

All I can say about that first day is:

I could do almost an entire push up. Maybe a few sit ups. And planks? No. Just no, no, no. My shoulders burned. My body was weak. WEAK! And then I went back. I started slow with two days the first week and three the second and third, finally bumping my attendance up to 4 times a week after that. And you know what? I got stronger.

And that's when I realized that I liked being strong. More than being skinny, I wanted to be strong. So, even though I plateaued at 144 and hadn't lost a single pound in almost 2 months in June, I was okay with that, too. Because I can keep up with my kickboxing classmates. I can help the newbies learn the combinations, and I can encourage them to keep going. "Keep going," I say. "Look at me. I couldn't do a single push up 3 months ago!"

 Me!!

Me!!

Fast forward to today, almost four months since I started. I'm up to 18 push ups [PT push ups!] in a minute, 30 sit ups, and I can plank for an entire minute, almost no problem. And then I take a quick break and I plank some more. I go 5 or 6 times a week, and I love fighting. I love the combos and the sweat and the kicking. I am never bored. I am never tempted to quit...I'm not discouraged by the solitude like I was with running, but encouraged by the group of amazing people who work with me. 

This morning, I got on that stupid scale and weighed 140 pounds. I'm going to New York City a woman who will kick your ass. [haha, just kidding...sort of, don't mess with me!] And this morning I went to Kohl's to buy a new jean jacket. I tried the Medium on, knowing i'm still a bit between sizes--that 8/10 range--but nope, I had to go to the small. I'm overwhelmed and grateful. [and obviously, I've gone on way too long. blah, blah, blah] Brag, brag, brag. 

It's possible to get healthier, lose weight, and become the strong, resilient people God meant us to be. If you're struggling, come find me. I'll bring you to class, and we'll do it together. PS: When I hit 135, I'm eating a shake. :D

 Cute Guy. Will help.

Cute Guy. Will help.

Writing Update

Still working on my Hawk Elite book 5 and doing revisions on the new Love Me Trilogy, book one, and submitting to agents, and finally, getting ready for ThrillerFest in July!! Whoot! So excited to get out there and meet new people, learn new writing stuff, and have some fun with people from this industry. I'll get to finally hug KJ Howe, who I've now known for years...but we've never been face-to-face!! :D The anticipation is so amazing.

Secondarily, I'm excited to be near family in NY. I've rented a spot through VRBO so I'll have a quaint little spot in the city, just blocks from the conference center/hotel. I've got a critique partner coming up from New Jersey and one that lives on Long Island!! So, we'll hook up...

I'm dizzy with excitement.

This weekend, I've submitted my newly revised and branded Trilogy to four agencies. Formerly my Vows Series, where book one was published by Boroughs Publishing Group, I've worked hard to revive my outlook for this series. It has been a favorite since I first wrote book three fourteen years ago. My fingers are crossed. My prayers are said. Hard work is always being done. 

Wish me luck! 

Strong, the new Skinny

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For years I've thought I wanted to be skinny. Lose weight. Run. Fit in my jeans. Look good. 

Have you ever been dropped somewhere you really have no desire to be? Maybe this is part of the military life, but I didn't want to be in Georgia. I don't really LIKE Georgia that much. I seem to have plenty to complain about here...hell, I was complaining before I arrived!!

I'm never going to LOVE Georgia, but when I look back on our first two years here, I can only be thankful that in Georgia I've met people who influence me to be better. I know for a fact that if we'd stayed in Colorado, I wouldn't have done there what I've done here. I wasn't ready. I wasn't in the right place yet--physically or mentally. And you know what? Neither was John.

John teaches the kickboxing class, and he moved to Georgia with his family this year. If I'd stayed where I wanted to be in Colorado, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to start the Free Kickboxing class in Georgia. Can you believe it? Kicking boxes is like my favorite thing to do, even though I sweat a ton and work like I've never worked in my whole life except...maybe on the swim team in high school [but there wasn't the same kind of sweating there...cuz of the water].

In Georgia, I realized that skinny was okay but strong was better. That doing a plank for 2 minutes meant more than losing 20 pounds. If I'd stayed in Colorado, I'd have been a half-ass, quitting runner for the rest of my life, always moaning about the next hill. 

Is this a life gives you lemons lesson? Ew! Cliche! 

But true. We don't always like where we are in life. But that doesn't mean good things won't happen. Don't worry about being skinny, Be strong!

With Love,

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Victory!

This post will be slightly cultural, political, and definitely controversial. I can only say that today because of what Facebook has done to our world. I know everything that everyone is thinking...it seems. I know what all the experts are saying because articles often show up in my newsfeed. Politics is there in full force as well... and it's often a very left-wing point of view. And though my thoughts aren't political in nature, the tides of society wash away our right to think and have opinions so that even the simplest of topics becomes political. 

I have the cutest son in the whole word: Examples:

About six to ten months ago, he stopped saying the S in words where the S was followed by a consonant. So stop had become 'top' and scooter was 'cooter' and so on. The speculation began...could he hear well? Did he have a speech impediment? Were we seeing the start to something else? Only wait, I didn't quite do that speculating. I never took him to the doctor or therapist. I wasn't ready to jump on the Diagnosis Bandwagon. 

He was a three-year-old, learning to talk and communicate with his family. And lots of three-year-olds have the cutest little speech quirks. 

Well, this morning he woke up and joined us in bed, and for the first time since it all started, he talked about it. "I can't say s'ake," he said with a frown. And his dad and I looked at each other. "That's okay," I said. And then he started practicing words. "S-nnnake." We told him good job, as he went through his list of words, "Snake, Scooter, Stop, Store,..." He still struggled with the 'SM' words, like smell, but for some reason... and I guess it's true, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one ...he started saying the words correctly. 

The incident made me stop and really think about how people are so ready to diagnosis and fix things that might not need fixing. My friend had a doctor tell her that her two-year-old daughter had anxiety because she wouldn't go to strangers. Anxiety. ANXIETY! What in ever-loving-hell? We want to label everything when sometimes, we just have to sit back and let live. I think, if the speech hadn't returned in another year at some point, I might have started digging and considering ways to help him. But, we have to remember that kids are all different! They are all beautifully made. Sometimes the standards don't apply to our children. Sometimes they are behind the standard or beyond the standard. 

And sometimes a quirk is just a quirk. Do we need to fix all our quirks? I say the word "fire" with two syllables...as most people from the Midwest do. As all of my sisters do.  "Fi-er." My husband used to stutter, still does on occasion. 

Why does our society insist on fixing our differences? If we don't like to be around people, why do we have anxiety? It could just be that we prefer solitude. If we are temperamental, fiesty, or angry, why do we need to be on mood-changing medications? If we have a hard time sitting still... you get the idea. 

I'm 41. I've been a parent for almost 19 of those years, and I'm dismayed by the use of medications in our culture. From infants through teenage years, there is a horrifying trend to medicate and fix something that is normal. :( 

I've had a year like that this year, and I come to the end of this school year even more convicted to rely on my instincts rather than the studies and advice of doctors. Life is NOT easy, but we have community and God to share our burdens, IF we are willing to tap into them. 

So, this post is a cheer!! Yay Jack for being so cute and walking around saying 'cooter' and 'pot' for the last six months. We absolutely LOVED your quirk and we'll remember it and talk about it to your girlfriend someday. 

Hope you all have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend.

Prayers for the souls of all those who lost their lives serving our country.

With Love,

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What do you Write?

The conundrum, the struggle, is real. The indecision can be paralyzing. There's the pressure to go in so many different directions...

1. follow the market   2. give in to the daughter's demands for that YA   3. track the temptations to write a thriller   4. finish the series   5. continue the series  

Ack! At the bottom of it all, is there a right answer? I don't think so. But there are better answers. 

For example, I can't move in the direction of the YA. As much as I love the story idea of time travel, my career has been adult romance, contemporary and suspense. Would it be smart to move in a new direction at such a newbie stage of my career? Doesn't matter that I've been writing for 14 years and have 8 books published. I'm practically a nobody. I'm not a best-selling author... so the big question would be, what if that happens on my one YA book? What would be the expectations for more? And what would happen to my romances and suspenses?On the other hand, if I end up writing a YA that rocks...would I want to go back? Is the risk worth it? Or do I stick it out in the vein a little while longer and see what's what?

Well, I wish I knew. 

I've had a slow start to the year, working on a novella in order to keep my fingers limber and my brain working. But I will have to move on eventually. And I'm still not sure which door to pick. 

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Happy 2018

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2018

Do you ever feel like all you do is spend your time waiting? Waiting for the big break. Waiting for a loved one to come home. Waiting for the coffee to brew! 

Even my characters are waiting--for love, for happily-ever-after, for revenge, for justice. 

And it occurred to me, the story isn't about what happens at the end of the wait. 

No. It's what a person or character does while they are waiting. As an Army wife, I feel this strongly, especially as 2018 starts. We had two moves in two years in a row, and this will be the first year we don't move since 2015. And that's an awesome thing! But it's also means...I'm waiting.

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This hasn't been my most favorite place to live so far and that means I'm subconsciously looking forward to what's to come. Where will we go next? When? It's human nature. It's survival. But, I think it's time for me to really embrace a new routine, here. I don't have to love it here to love the people I'm with, to enjoy the good days, and invest my time in the worthwhile causes around me. 

It's time to find a niche. And you know what??

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That's being a mom. It's being a writer of my books. It's being a friend to the women I work with and share bible study with and laugh with...and even cry with. It means going above and beyond. It means writing a ton. It means going to the extra-curricular activities--the plays and sporting events and doctors appointments [without complaint]. It means learning something new and maybe visiting that one museum I still haven't made it to.

I'm not going anywhere for the next year...

So watch me fly!!

With Love,

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When a book makes you Mad:

I usually refrain from leaving negative reviews. Believe me. I know how it feels to get those. Not nice! And sometimes, they are completely crazy off the wall, like "did you even read the book?" So, I didn't leave a review. I internalized what I'd read...over and over for several hours. The book made me roll my eyes, groan, get defensive, and then--eventually--made me mad. 

But after running through the emotions of dislike, I got to a point where I'd processed enough to see a bigger picture...and I wondered, How does a fiction novel influence our decisions? 

My own conscience feels a responsibility to the reader. 

1. not to be too biased or one-sided: double-edged sword here in today's world.

2. do my research

The book I stopped reading yesterday had some immature moments, some moments of disbelief. I can take all of that, but then the author stepped up onto a platform for mental health. The move surprised me and made me hesitate. I tepidly kept reading, wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then I got mad. Because the author presented the use of drugs as a good, normal way to fix a problem, when all the reading and research I've done...the talking to other people...has left me feeling completely uncertain [please note, I didn't say 'left me feeling like it was wrong for everyone']. The side effects can be harsh and far-reaching: from headaches to suicide.  

And then--the icing on the cake--the author compared the use of these drugs with a Type I Diabetic using insulin. And it didn't matter that I was a breath away from finishing the book. I didn't finish. 

T1D is NOT a mental disorder, to be determined based on talking about things. It's a disease. A person with T1D is BROKEN. Without insulin, a T1D will DIE. So, tell me how that's the same as this hero having a temper he can't control and taking mind-altering drugs? 

I couldn't relate at all. I felt the author glossed over the reality of using SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and it made me sad for people who won't do the research on the drugs or who are being pressured to use it, who might actually be influenced by--yes--a romance novel. 

I think I could have taken the presentation of the SSRI in the story, if there had been more... conflict, less of a stance or platform in how it was shown in the story. And definitely, it would have been key to not have the use of SSRI compared to the use of insulin. 

Writing books is a hard business. It's often that we--authors--will offend someone or write a point of view that differs from a readers beliefs. There's nothing wrong with differing beliefs--usually. And maybe that means there is nothing wrong with the book I didn't finish. Maybe for some it offered hope! And they left the story filled with a good feeling. 

I felt sad. And I felt convicted to be more careful... but also, to be truer to my values in my own books. :) So, I'm ending this thought process with acceptance toward this author's mistakes. It didn't make me happy. It ticked me off. I think she should have done more research and made a better show of....life.

But, I'm not mad anymore--processing things will do that! And I feel better because I've had my say, which is what blogging is for, right? 

Don't Do It!

Bloggers are amazing, dedicated, organized people!! 

And this is why I call myself an author, a writer, a mom, a wife, a taxi driver, a coach, a book club member... so many things, but not a blogger. That being said, BLOG:

Life changes so quickly, doesn't it?

I've felt real pressure this year to solidify my purpose in life, in Georgia, in my family. I want to do right by everyone. I've learned this year that even with a solid purpose in plan, we have to be living, breathing, changing creatures. 

Every day, there should be a dialogue with yourself... what will I feed? [must I really mention the wolves?! I hate those wolves!] Where are the priorities for this day? This day only, by the way. I don't need to look too far ahead. 

Like yesterday, an opportunity came up for my son to either go to his Open House and see a performance OR for him to go to the rehearsal before the Open House. The first meant I would have to take him. The second included his amazing teacher who offered to go with him immediately following school dismissal. 

Of course, as a mom, I wrestled with not being good enough, not doing enough, and wanting to do it all and do it "right." But, in the end, I just couldn't commit to going to this Open House. I had already decided Thursday night was going to be my night to get out and work. I spend Monday through Wednesday doing the extra practice runs and going to Occupational Therapy. There had been appointments and a sibling's school and babysitting schedule to squeeze in there... So, I had to say no. I was okay saying no. 

And when I explained that to my son, he was okay with it too. 

Don't be too hard on yourself, Moms. It's a busy, ridiculous world we live in now. 

It is okay to say no!

Have a great weekend.

With Love,

Beth

PS I released Strike Force on Wednesday. :D I mean, really!!! That I should have been more on top of. ha! Don't miss it. It's raw, rough around the edges. It will make you cry, laugh, and swoon. Malcolm Daniels is my favorite. Marie is his perfect partner... Go read it now. 

The Characters of Strike Zone

Book Three is about to be released! I've spent all weekend reading a book, one that has me--of course--studying technique, looking at character development. I admit, I've become a reader who also picks a little bit. To learn, though! Not just to be critical, although sometimes that does go hand-in-hand. And recently, the topic of Characterization came up in my writing group, and it got me thinking.

So, as I thought about characters this weekend, I noted two things.

One from my reading:

The conflict in the book created unnatural reactions in the characters. When it came right down to it, I disliked the heroine for her cold attitude in the first scene...but mostly, it seemed that her thoughts [as the author tried to 'show' the story] and her actions weren't realistic. She was stuck in a Russian blizzard, needing rescue! Why is she thinking she should try to bring up a past and resolve anything? Why is she thinking at all beyond, 'Thank God. You rescued me. Please don't hate me too much to save my life.' So there were a few other instances where the author was trying to maintain sexual tension by NOT having the couple hook up too soon, and created conflict. But again, it just felt off, especially since the characters were both young, healthy, attractive, sexually active, and 'hot for each other'. As an author, reading this book, the conflict felt too contrived. 

This is where characterization can play a huge part! Because if even one of those characters wasn't the horny, sex-impulsive type, then...I could have believed they were holding back as a natural occurence! 

Two, from my own writing:

Last week I finished revisions on Book Three of my Hawk Elite Security series, and it's the first full-length novel that has no sex in it. Before I started revisions, this book had the expected 2-3 love scenes. As I went through on the revisions, the sex kept NOT happening. Believe me, I wanted it to happen! I understand the satisfaction of seeing a couple through even this very private part of their relationship. It's what romance readers are looking for... emotional connections. But no, I had a character. And do you know what my character's nickname on the teams is? 

Fr. John. Because he's conservative in his dating life, because no one is quite certain if he's had sex or not... is he a virgin? Does he even date anymore? He hasn't--in a long time--and that's what made his story. So, wouldn't it be odd to have him suddenly be a lady's man? a Don Juan? I think it would. It wouldn't be in character. 

I had a heroine who was ready to go, and she did her own pondering on why this guy wasn't going to have sex with her. But even my heroine had been living alone for a few years, sort of in hiding from herself and the world. So, even for her to jump right in would have been a little off-reality.

I write romance, and I know the possibility of disappointing readers with a book that has no sex in it. But, I just couldn't get beyond my characters. John was raised a certain way. He's not perfect. He's NOT a virgin [cuz, hello, college is a bed of sowing wild oats and living a little rebelliously], but he's celibate, and has been for a few years. Because he knows, he wants the whole thing. All of it, and he isn't going to settle for less, or cheat the next woman he's attracted to by leading her on. 

If you get a chance to read Strike Zone, please come back and tell me what you think. Part of me loves this story, because the sexual tension is so darn high. Part of me wishes I'd left the sex in there because it's satisfying...

But in the end, I left the tone of the book up to the characters.

And if you like things a little hotter, stay tuned for book 4, Strike Force. Oh boy. That's a different story completely! 

Big News

The End

I thought I'd start off at the end. The two sweetest words written...

75+K words in two months and nineteen days. With two whole days before deadline. Which means I have time to do a read through today and tomorrow before I hand it over to my editor. This is the joy of writing, the glamour,...what every author looks to when they say with pride, "I am an author."

...and in a last effort to get it through every thick skull out there. READ YOUR CONTRACTS!! Your contract is a living breathing thing. It should be understood and then negotiated in your favor as best as possible. When you give your publisher rights to a book, it should include that book, and perhaps stories that come from that particular world... do NOT--even by oversight--give your publisher the rights to "any works of similar nature" for the length of your contract.

Let the limits be clear! Because if you are unhappy with said publisher [I don't mean Entangled, btw, in case you know me and anything about my publishers. I luuurve Entangled], you will be stuck. You might make almost no money. Communication might be nonexistent and you might feel like you have been dropped in a black hole. But if you are an ethical person, you will follow the rules and be confined to what is in your contract. If those terms aren't in your favor, if what is in your head no longer belongs to you... [think about that, aspiring authors!] ...you could go a long time without writing a single word.

Three years is too, too long a time to hold onto the joy of writing, waiting for that moment when you can finally let it loose again. Strike Force is the release of years of repressed creativity. And, I think it might be the best book I've ever written. You know how you read a series and by the time you get to book four, you're starting to question whether the author is still on board with the series or if the author has gotten lazy and bored? 

This is not going to happen to you when you read Strike Force. Wait for it!! Coming this fall.


Other Big News

Don't miss The Romance Reviews 6th Anniversary Celebration, going on this month!! There are Daily Quiz Games, Cover Match Up, Featured Authors, and of course, BOOKS!! Lots of books, being given away.

TRR has been giving us reasons to read for 6 years! They have been faithful reviewers of my books over the years--give me top pick once, too! So, head over, if you have a few minutes. I'm giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card for my Quiz Question about Strike Fear. 

 CLICK HERE!

CLICK HERE!

Strike Fear, Book Two: OUT NOW!

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I love the blog because I get to tell the inside story here. 

Don't tell anyone....but this is my least favorite of my Hawk Elite books. I don't know what happened during this book. Maybe it was one too many revisions. Maybe it wasn't enough revisions. The full picture never really cleared for me, and I struggled--ALOT--to get this one where I wanted it. And in the end, I still wondered if I'd done enough.

That's not to say I don't love the characters. I DO! I loved the Whitney family and imagine I might be able to spin another series from all those brothers of hers. I love Tancredo Byrnes and his sister, An. Their story really stretched my horizons and gave me some serious feels.

All that said, I was really happy to leave this one behind. As I write book four, I can see how my heart struggled to love Strike Fear as much as it does Strike Force and Strike Zone. So, I hope you'll stick with me through book two and give book three and four a try as well. 

They all have their own dynamic and emotional pull. But, it will be fun to hear from the readers as the books are released and see how they all compare in the reviews. 

Have a great week, everyone!

And don't forget to read Strike Fear.

With Love,

Beth

A Dream Come True

This might be long, but it's fun to share and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Early in 2015, I answered a call by Brenda Novak, who was looking for someone to help an author friend by sharing Type 1 Diabetes information. I chatted with KJ Howe for a good hour or so about the disease. And such a nice lady! And so smart. Anyway, that's beside the point. In April I read her manuscript... and let me just say, I got lost in the story a few times and had to reread in order to think about it and make sure the T1D stuff was adding up.

I'm sure she has family that are her number one fans, but I'm like the excited puppy, photo-bombing that happy family! <3

Speaking of family...when I found out KJ Howe was going to be in NYC, I called my Aunt Mary Ann, godmother extraordinaire. And she went to The Mysterious Bookshop for me and stood in for me. And it was like a dream come true, once removed. [haha] I got my signed copy and a photo with KJ and my aunt. 

What a great way to end today!

If you haven't, get the book! The Freedom Broker. It's amazing. Intense. When we were chatting about this book, she said, "watch Strike Back. Stonebridge reminds me of Rif." Gotta say, I binge watched that show when it showed up on Amazon. I can be shallow when it's called for! <3

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So, let's just say... I love this industry. I've met amazing people--writers, authors, bloggers, editors, designers, and readers. It's a good day when I get to [sort of] meet a friend. :D 

I'm seriously looking forward to book two...which is the best adn worst place to be--as a reader, anyway. 

 

"...strong narrative, a complex protagonist, a thrilling pace, and great writing."

~Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars

 

“Thea Paris. She’s tough. She’s smart. She’s diabetic. The best scene—and who cares if it’s plausible—involves bungee jumping over the Zambezi River. It’s worth the price of the book. A spectacular start for what promises be a great Thea Paris series.”

~KIRKUS Starred Review

 Click and Buy!!

Click and Buy!!