Chapter Six: The Religion of Mall Santas
“He toed the tile with his shoe. In slow, deliberate swipes he searched the floor for cracks, for hairline fractures slick with the remains of his last coherent thoughts.” (page 97)
The day after.
I want to thank you all for making A Torch Kept’s release day a success! It was awesome. Thank you!
Still got my mind.
That’s always a plus on the day after. Have you ever woke up with nothing but an echo of the alarm clock clanking around between your ears?
Yeah, not pleasant.
Especially when you don’t own an alarm clock.
*hums a little “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”*
On a day when the blog is entitled “The Religion of Mall Santas,” I thought it would be the perfect time to announce that my 14th novel for Ravenous Romance will be… a Christmas story!
Yes, Chloe does the guy in the big red suit… well, uh, you know what I mean.
Great. That’s one big check on the “naughty” side of the tote-board for me. I really don’t need any help on that side of things. My naughtiness is all fleshed out, thank you very much. Hello. Smut writer here.
As it’s becoming readily apparent that I am still hung-over from yesterday’s festivities and delusional breaks, I’m going to end all our suffering by ending this blog a little early today.
For your patience, however, I will leave you with a small parting gift…
The title of my 14th novel will be Miracle on Lombard Street. Yep, I’m hitting the streets of Frisco with this one, babe. All new characters, all new storyline! What a merry rush it will be! The deadline for the manuscript is November 25, so expect a mid-December release, my friends.
Until tomorrow (when another HUGE announcement will be made), I wish you all a little early “Fa-la-la-la-la!”
Chapter Seven: When All is Well
“Her footsteps were small, fragile against the hard hospital floors. There was no sense of certainty about her movements. From the way she held her elbows tight against her sides, to the hesitant downward tilt of her chin, (the woman) slipped through the long, solemn corridors with the presence of a banished wraith.” (page 105)
Click to buy!
Chapter Four: A Woman Named Loring
“Buried? For some reason he cringed at that word. His bad feeling about all of this was just getting worse.” (page 53)
Release Day! The foreplay has come to its end. All the soft nuzzles of lips upon nipples, all those sweet kisses on the best of those unmentionables have now disappeared. What remains between us this day is the climax.
Let the thunderous waves of pleasure come, let ecstasy rock the boat you lay upon.
Lay all of your defenses down.
Give in to the hot rush that wants to devour you.
Scream as the orgasm takes hold of your soul and shatters it. Relish the devastation, suck it dry.
And know that tonight, tomorrow, for all time to come I am here to bring you more…
Bet you never had a “Please buy my book” quite like that, huh?
*tosses her salesman’s hat to the floor and kicks it out of sight*
Now back to the blog…
Anybody want to take my shift in my brain today? Seriously. I am bone tired of being so… weird. And I can’t even be weird in a cute and snuggly way. No, I have to be weird in the “Jeez, I hope it’s not catching” way.
Take yesterday as an example.
I spent most of the morning and all the early afternoon literally revving myself up to go to the Fed Ex place (a place I’m very unfamiliar with). There was a very important contract I needed to mail to a new publishing house (details to follow in the next days). Well, by the time I got up the nerve to actually go I had wasted the majority of the day worrying about it. Yeah, dumb, I know. Believe me, I know.
Did I go to the Fed Ex place? Yes. Did I get it mailed? No. After a “comedy” of nervous errors, I was told (while holding on to 2 completed forms and a big envelope I had just bought) that they couldn’t mail the contract to a PO Box.
Yeah, I know this kind of stuff happens all the time to everybody. Fortunately though, for everybody’s sanity, everybody isn’t operating with my brain set.
So, I dragged my pitiful self back home, curled up on the couch and called my Mommy. September 19th was officially shot to h-e-double hockey sticks and I’d gotten zero accomplished… except, of course, for the knotted up stomach and the exhaustion-laced nausea.
Yep, sometimes I wish with all my soul that somebody else was Chloe Stowe and I was a woman named Loring.
Until tomorrow and the afterglow…
P.S. *nudge, nudge* “A Woman Named Loring” is one of the title chapters of the day. Got it? Good. Even I get lost sometimes following my line of thinking.
Chapter Five: Home Away from Home
“His eyes popped open and a world of harsh, electric light swallowed him. Trapped in an ice cold fire he couldn’t understand, Cane began to struggle.” (page 65)
Chapter Two: The Postman Always Knocks
“Bloated and brown, the Mississippi River lay out before them like a giant, mud-covered slug too baked by the relentless sun to do much more than twitch in the thick September air.” (page 23)
Good morning, world!
Day Two of Hellesgate’s Long Goodbye arrives bookended with two chapter titles that are admittedly “blah.” I’m disappointed in them, now that I look back at the mundane phrases. Where was my imagination? Where was the zing? The melodrama? The gloating storm of yesterday?
*drums her fingers pensively on her chin*
Sometimes my creative juices are as elusive as toddlers in a heated game of hide and go seek. I corner them between the sofa and the book case only to have them scamper away between my legs… ok, whoever snuck a Freud into my head while I wasn’t looking please remove the doctor immediately.
I might frighten dear Sigmund.
Alright, where were we? Oh yes, the blahs. Every writer gets them. Every certifiable crazy person risks drowning in them. Literally. I’m talking the whole wet and cold world pushing and shoving to rush inside of you, wanting to flood you with its oceans and seas, its swimming pools and bathtubs holding only an inch of water. I’m talking long, dull moments where fighting and gasping for the air you so desperately need and want ironically becomes suicidal…
*stops, takes a deep, deep breath just for assurance, and then smiles cunningly*
Are the writing blahs that bad? Is losing that creative thread really so damning?
Of course not.
A person can drown in depression. A writer will never drown in a blah.
It’s all relative…
Ok, what joker put Einstein in my head?... Fair warning: No way in hell am I doing physics here, Albert. No freaking way.
Until tomorrow, when hopefully all PhD’s will have been thrown out with that inch of bathwater…
Chapter Three: The Seventh Floor
“Matthew groaned and firmly removed the hand from his dick. “We get tagged for public gay sex in Memphis and we’re never going to hear the end of it from Bingham.” (page 50)
“Voices carried little here. The thick humid air weighed them down, made them heavy and leaden. Words would fall from lips to the floor, lying there breathless until they died and were forgotten.” (page 119)
The last day of The Forsaken Blogs has arrived. The end of my blogging events are always bittersweet to me. The end means I can finally put to bed one novel and move on to the next. In this instance, the next novel for Ravenous Romance will be A Torch Kept, due date August 15. So, please look for me when the blustery September winds start blowing your way.
I adore the ending to The Torch Forsaken. The last scene tickles my literary bones to their warm, soft marrow. I was three-quarters through the book when the ending came to me in a flash of inspiration that left my toes curling and my heart wonderfully aflutter.
I love those author-y moments. While I’m sure Hemingway and Poe are rightfully looking down their noses at my efforts most times, in these moments even they must nod to themselves and agree, “Yes, she’s right. Those moments do feel damned good.” And any time you’ve got ghost masters agreeing with you is a special, spectral thing. *grins*
So, the beginning of summer nears. What does this glorious season hold in wait for you? I hope only good, inspiring things.
My summer will see my mother having major surgery. Prognosis is outstanding but still… well, you know… we’re talking me, the proverbial worry wart. So, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I will give you all a drive-by blog when all is said and done. I thank you so much for caring.
On behalf of Dimas and Alanyo and all the characters in their sweet, torturous love story, I wish you sunny skies of freedom and calm minds of peace.
Until next time, my dear readers…
“If Dimas had then fallen to pieces in the shower, pouring out through his tears years of hurt and relieving one moment of unfathomable pain, he saw no reason to tell these nice people anything about it.”
Do you see what I see? That’s a very dangerous question for a mentally indisposed person to ask of the world.
Think about it. You’re sitting there on your couch staring at a pack of elephants in your den. You ask the world at large, “Do you see what I see?” The world at large replies, “Yeah, you need to dust that fireplace.”
It’s disturbing. It’s discomforting. It’s a sinking feeling to hear stark affirmation that yes indeed you are a loon.
Sometimes it’s better not to ask the question. Sometimes it’s better to just keep your mouth shut and pray that the pachyderms don’t mow you down while you crunch through a can of Pringles.
It’s a common misunderstanding that the secretiveness of many people suffering from mental illness has to do mainly with their wanting to avoid embarrassment. A lot of the time, I think, it’s about not wanting to be confronted with the truth. It’s that fear of realizing just how sick you are that keeps many of us from opening up about our illness.
Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just a case of not wanting to see the forest for the trees, or, in our case, the fireplace for the elephants.
So, you’ll please excuse the potato chips on my den’s floor. My elephants always leave crumbs.
Until tomorrow, the last of The Forsaken Blogs…
“As he’d stepped out of the tiny inn’s front door, Dimas had looked all around him. A bittersweet feeling of amazement filled him. For the first time in his adult life he could go anywhere in the world he wanted.” (page 84)
Yesterday I was fending off self-doubt gremlins from my back door, and today I’m welcoming Goblin Gaillardias to my front door.
It’s a crazy, crazy life in Chloe’s world. Welcome aboard.
After a morning spent at the nursery picking out flowers for my tiny front yard, I have returned to blog at you. With Release Day for The Torch Forsaken now sitting firmly in the rearview mirror, I can take a deep, though heavily medicated, breath and relax… at least that’s the plan… the gremlins might have other ideas.
It’s amazing what memories latch onto.
For Dimas, the taste of candied oranges brings with it a lone Christmas from long, long ago.
For me, the taste of a cold cream soda takes me back to those precious summer evenings in the Rocky Mountains.
Ok. Truth time. How many of you out there thought that my memory would be a bad one? An incident stinking of mental illness, panic and bone-chilling fear?
Yep. Thought so.
Surprisingly, it’s very rare that a scent or a taste or a sound carries with it the memory of a panic attack for me. Although I can clearly remember each and every one of my attacks over the last twenty years, they rarely come rushing back to me, catching me off-guard.
Those memories are with me always, every day, sometimes every minute. As the years have passed, the majority of the attacks have slipped into the shadows of my daily world. In fact, maybe they have become my shadows? The dark, cold proof that I am finally able to live outside in the sun?
Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. Maybe consult with a gremlin or two out back, or one of the newbie goblins out front.
It’s a crazy, crazy life.
Matthew supposed it was a Jeep. It had the basic shape of a Jeep, all the right parts in all the right places, but there was just something off about the vehicle.
“It’s the color of a freaking lime,” Cane pointed out, with an unspoken What the living fuck?
Yeah, that could be the problem. (page 37)
Day Five is off and running like a shot of Mexico’s finest tequila. Smooth and fiery with an iron-toed kick in the gut.
*doubtful silence falls*
Ok. Let me amend that… Day Five is here. Try not to stub your toe on its sloth-like girth.
Let’s say it is and move on, shall we? We’ve got crawling mosquitoes to discuss. *grins*
Do mosquitoes crawl?
This is surprisingly a very deep question. Really.
Having a mental illness that is slowly evolving into a different beast every day, I sometimes wonder if I’ll know when or if I finally lose my mind? Will there be a visual clue, like mosquitoes suddenly crawling through the air instead of flying? Will worms suddenly taking flight give me an inkling that’s something terribly wrong?
Will any of it happen “suddenly” at all? Maybe going crazy will be the whole world slowing down to a snail’s pace, where a yawn lasts a year and a heartbeat a Tuesday? Mosquitoes would certainly be crawling then.
Would that mean that I would “suddenly” speed up? Would my mind blow through the world like a runaway train on a very short track? Would my words be nothing more than cavernous screams in the sky, or would they just be swallowed up in the crack between two realities, mine and yours?
Would my blogs suddenly be nothing but question marks and exclamation points?
Or maybe, just perhaps, this was simply an example of where my mind has been known to run on very bad days?
Yeah, that must be it.
*doubtful silence falls again*
Welcome to my world where it’s always a question of whether my imagination is just running amuck or are the mosquitoes really lining up to start crawling.
“(The trees) were integral collaborators in the men’s tiny stabs at freedom. From trunk to trunk, the night’s escapees would bolt behind their girth. Sex-drunk and wary, the same men would return to the living columns, counting on them to get the workers back to their beds unseen.” (page 19)
On a dewy, sun-kissed Thursday morning, Day Three of The –Forsaken- Blogs has arrived! The world may now sigh in relief. *grins*
On a personal aside to my daily readers, I’d just like to note that today is a much better day than yesterday. All my meds are humming merrily along and my nails aren’t quite as dirty this morning as they were in the last blog. And yes, I’m still holding on at six thousand miles.
Now back to today’s blog…
What a delicious coupling of words.
Hopefully, we’ve all felt that lazy buzz that sings through our bodies after a delicious coupling of our own. That precious, awkward time when our brains are stuck in a constant “Wow!” at our body’s spectacular efforts. Sweaty, breathless and goofy-faced, it is in these moments that some of our sappiest thoughts tumble out…
These are the moments romance authors drool over, especially writers in the m/m genre.
Keeping a man, well, manly is hard work when you’ve also got to show his soft, vulnerable underbelly. These sex-drunk moments are glorious moments where raw machismo and romantic heart can dance. When these rare, sparkling slices of time have been reached, it’s up to the author to just step back and let her men tango with their tongues and their oft-shielded hearts.
Personally, I get a rush out of writing these scenes. In a sense, it’s a delicious coupling of author and character. One leads and the other follows. If you’ve done it right, it’s almost a hands-off kind of experience, a moment where the writer can recklessly ride the waves she has wrought.
It may not be as good as a long, hard fucking but it sure as hell has an after-glow all its very own.
“Their lovemaking could be beautiful, the grace and passion they poured into one another’s body drowning out their surroundings. Hot whispers of “forever,” “someday,” and “freedom” would fill their ears and trick their souls into believing.” (page 9)
With the mantra of “better late than never” stammering away in my heavily medicated brain, I proudly and belatedly bring you Day Two of The -Forsaken- Blogs.
Applause would be greatly appreciated at this point.
My morning has been less than ideal, shall we say. So excuse me if I psychotically cling to any positive feedback the universe sends my way today. I will try, however, to keep any gratuitous tail-wagging on my part to a strict minimum. Believe me, nobody needs to see that.
Moving right along…
Six thousand miles of separation. In The Torch Forsaken, that refers to the distance between the U.S. and southern Brazil. In my own life, especially on days like this, that seems to be the distance between my life and normalcy.
Six thousand miles.
Squint and hop on my toes with all of my might and I still can’t even catch a glimpse at something so far away.
At this point in my life, what do I pray for at night? That I never know what six thousand and one miles of separation feels like.
Yeah, on days like this I just cling to the ground and hope not to be shoved any further away from the sun than I already am.
So, please excuse the dirt under my nails today. I’m a stubborn bitch who sure as hell is going to hold her ground.
“The waves were fickle, wanton in their desire to be nothing less than maddeningly unpredictable.” (page 164)
So, one and all, we have reached the epilogue’s blog. The end, as always, is bittersweet for me. This is the fourth or fifth preview blogging event I’ve done for a novel, and I humbly think this one was by far the best. Thank you all for stopping by every day and sharing a bit of the madness that is my world.
The ocean. It is a siren to the author in me. My characters are drawn to it; my storylines beg to have their scenes played out in its salt air. I have to drag my novels away from its sandy and rocky shores.
Why does my imagination yearn for the sea?
Why do I?
Mental illness is a furious and frenetic fraying of the mind. Imagine a thousand little mice gnawing and unraveling the tightly weaved fibers of your brain. Yes, it’s a disgusting image, but it’s apropos. There is nothing pretty about mental disorder.
Perhaps one of the worst things about the disease is its unpredictability. No matter how well you know the condition from which you’re suffering, its course is never clear. The thousand little mice have disturbing minds of their own. They follow no plan, no diagnosis. You never know what part of you they will turn to next… not until you feel their jagged little teeth sink in.
The ocean is constant. For all its potential destructiveness, for all its deadliness, its waves may falter but they will never disappear.
Gnaw and tear and rip with their yellowed teeth as they will, the mice can never pick apart the will of the sea.
Perhaps I drift toward the ocean because I am jealous of it?
Or maybe, like a mother’s heartbeat, I lean toward it because I know it will always be there?
Well, that’s it, folks. The end of the Cock Fight Dailies. I hope they brought a few unexpected smiles to your world.
When the release date for Cock Fight is finalized (later this week or early next week, the publishing gods have told me), I will announce it here on my blog. And to celebrate its release, a lengthy excerpt will also be found here that day.
I thank you again for joining me on this previewing journey. I hope you will consider making Cock Fight a part of your library, just as you have made this blog a part of your life.
Until next time…