On The Playlist: NOT A BAD THING by Justin Timberlake
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2013 was a doozy. Fast forward…many things have changed in my life…and some things still remain the same.
I’m in a good place now. I have an amazing group of friends who drag me out of my dark cave for some fresh air and fun. I found my muse and I came to terms with my father’s death. It’s been quite a ride and I’ve finally found the peace I’ve been missing. This year is truly about new beginnings and opportunities. I took some time off of writing so I could heal my head and my heart. Along the way, I’ve met interesting people who made me think…made me see things I hadn’t tried to see before.
I also discovered that it’s okay to fall apart because being strong all the time can become a crutch. You start to put up walls and you start believing that you can never not be strong for everyone’s sake…except your own. I’ve also felt heartbreak and learned that letting go can be healthy. I’ve always believed that love never dies, it transforms. Well, at least the precious kind of love. One that deserves to remain in your heart and life.
The best part of learning is growing. Maturing. Funny how the world looks differently when you shift your perspective. You’re opening yourself to new possibilities and a chance at happiness. I can honestly say that when I started to focus on myself, I was able to attract positive things… people… opportunities.
I’ve even stumbled across something totally unexpected and it’s inspired me a great deal—and it feels damn good! So, this year I’m going to continue to challenge myself and work harder to create even better stories for YOU, my awesome readers.
I promise there will be a new release and I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your continued love and support! You’re the reason I write…
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
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This year taught me a lot about myself. I learned to trust my decisions, step back from things that consumed me negatively, embrace true friends who have supported, loved, and comforted me…and I have allowed myself to grieve my father’s passing…
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has faced adversity and obstacles these past few years, but I can only say one thing, all those elements that tore at my self-confidence and spirit…did not break me.
My outlook has changed, my goals have transformed, and I’ve begun to value those things I’ve inadvertently taken for granted. I’ve tried to carve out more time for myself and I’ve cut back on a lot of my workload in order to heal. I know it will take a bit longer but everyday I’m in a better mental space. I’m learning to embrace my flaws and work at making myself an even better person.
There are certainly days that are more trying than others, yet I’ve made it a mission to make 2014 the beginning of something beautiful. There’s so much I want to do, places to visit, things to accomplish and I’m going to put all my passion and focus into these desires. Life is too short to simply dream, it should be about taking risks and making them happen.
Although my father passed a little over six months ago…today, Christmas Eve..my family and I will still celebrate and honor him on his birthday. I hope I’ve made him proud…and I hope that he’ll continue to look down from the heavens and see me accomplish all those goals I’ve set out to conquer…
I love you, daddy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
*I’m giving away 3 autographed copies of BRUSH WITH DESIRE! (International winners will receive eBook copies) All you have to do is comment on my Facebook Fan Page. Winners will be picked at random on Saturday, October 6th*
SQUEE! I’m totally excited about this release which includes eBook versions, in addition to print!
I wrote this book for Parker Publishing in 2008. It was at the beginning of my career when I was a totally wide-eyed new author. It’s always been a project that remained in my heart no matter how many years have passed. Now ART OF SENSUALITY is re-titled and re-released…during the editing process of this book, and after much thought, I realized I shouldn’t mess with something so special to me. Yes, I did make minor changes and even added an excerpt at the end, but otherwise I chose to leave it virtually the same.
I know it’s a risk because most authors who have re-releases usually make major changes…but I felt strongly about my decision to keep the original version. I hope that those who have not read my work will give it a chance. I’d like for you to discover my voice for the first time and see my love of storytelling through this sensual love story. I hope you’ll take a chance, and experience the emotional ride alongside the characters, as they reach their Happily-Ever-After.
This book has received very awesome reviews when it was initially released―From the RT Book Reviews (4 Stars), Affaire De Coeur (5 Stars), to The Romance Studio (4.5 Stars)…you can see that’s why I made the decision I did. As I pen new romances in all the different genres, I hope you’ll see my growth as a writer and will continue to support me. Also, the best way to help me reach a wider audience to further support me and my books is for you to leave a review on one of the online venues, if you’ve purchased a copy of my book in the past (many thanks in advance). Reviews are what truly helps writers!
For my readers, a BIG THANK YOU for staying with me through the years and for being the reason why I push myself to become a better writer!
Sometimes writing makes you dig deep down inside to the very part of you that hurts the most, makes you pull out everything that you’ve tried to bury and bring it to surface… makes you face your demons… conquer your fears… and although the scars are still raw, you can’t help but better understand yourself. Trust me, you can’t leave the past behind even if you try because it haunts your very existence and shapes the person you are now. It’s also what makes you a better writer and a kind of therapy that will get you through those hard times.
I’m working on a proposal that’s been rather challenging. The characters are damaged and while I write their story, I can’t help but be sucked in. I’m transported back to a time when I felt their happiness, their loss, their pain. I suppose a good storyteller is able to suck readers into the same world to experience the H/H journey. This story is very dear to me because it’s extremely dark yet the underlying message is beautiful. After I write each scene I can’t shake out of it. It stays with me for longer than usual but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want it to be the beginning of something much deeper, more meaningful for me as a writer. I want it to be a stepping stone that will someday take me to the next level as a writer.
2012 ended with a big bang for me—in the best possible way! A few days before Christmas Entangled Publishing formally offered me a 3-book deal for my paranormal romance DEATH WARRIOR and 2 more books in the War of Angels series for their EDGE imprint.
It was a very exciting time for me but I had to keep all of this a secret. A lot of things were happening behind the scenes that were being finalized, including Entangled’s partnership with Davis Entertainment for film rights and with Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press for mass market publication and distribution, so I couldn’t yell from the rooftops like I’d planned. At least my agent and I were able to privately squee about it together!
You can imagine how tortured I felt holding all these secrets, so when I was finally able to announce the sale, I was relieved to be able to share it with the world…However, when the reality sank in that I’d have to produce 2 more books back-to-back, I was both invigorated by the challenge and nervous about meeting reader expectations. Of course, I want to make a stellar first impression for readers new to me and for those who have followed me in my career. I’ve always said I wrote outside the box, and maybe that’s why a lot of the NY publishers didn’t get my storytelling, didn’t get me. I was starting to believe that paranormal just wasn’t my genre. You see, my stories focus on romance and relationships set in a world where the paranormal exists. Yet I knew publishers only wanted to acquire grittier and darker storylines so mine didn’t fit the bill. It’s not that I didn’t want to write the stories they were looking for, I wrote a story that I would want to read myself.
In DEATH WARRIOR, it’s a balance of love story, humor, and darkness…believe me, as the series progresses it will get much darker but I still hold firmly to my voice and in keeping with the elements of love and relationships. That’s why I feel really blessed that I found an editor who totally understood me and my storytelling. During these 9 years of writing romance, I never sacrificed my vision. I always wrote what I loved and although I made changes and tweaks here and there, I never sold myself out. This sale is extra special because I made it on my own terms without getting discouraged about piles of rejections from the “Big Six”. I’m proud of myself for pushing forward and believing in my abilities and proving that my love of writing would lead me to a publisher that would see my potential and vision. I don’t know what the future will hold for me but I plan on challenging myself more and more in whichever genre I write. I don’t necessarily believe one should limit oneself and I feel confident that it’s okay to create stories that will move me, move my readers.
I truly love DEATH WARRIOR and I hope that you will too. It’s a world that involves Death, the Archangel, but it’s not as simple as demons, angels, and mortals. It’s a universe I’ve created that focuses on the characters within this world. Whether they’re a soul collector, reaper, angel, or mortal, all these characters are pivotal in this war. These books are about love, revenge, and redemption…most importantly, Free Will…but I promise it’s not like anything you’re used to or imagined. Although it’s subtle, my Eastern beliefs is incorporated in the storytelling. I know right off the cuff you’re either going to love it or hate it—but I’m hoping you’ll take a chance on me and read the book when it’s released.
P.S. I have to mention that not long ago RT Book Reviews provided an early buzz about my series which I’m absolutely thrilled about! However, I will have to say the details mentioned about my characters were reversed but I didn’t mind…buzz is buzz so I’ll take it where I can!
WAR OF ANGELS series
♦ DEATH WARRIOR, Book One
VIE is Death’s warrior, the most skilled of soul collectors and a powerhouse who has spent centuries making up for the sins of her past. Trust doesn’t exist in her vocabulary after being burned by the Archangel who condemned her soul for eternity. When she is forced to make a swift decision to save a sexy scientist, she never expected the tables to turn. Now marked as a traitor, she’s unleashed an apocalyptic chain effect that leaves her own soul ripe for the collecting from angels, demons, and the very one who created her.
HIRO MATSUMOTO has returned from the dead, only to discover he’s become a human target alongside a sassy, foul-mouthed, and distrusting soul collector. She’s a lethal, raven-haired beauty who wields a mean set of miniature scythes, and a woman whose armor he’d do anything to crack. While they figure out a way back into the good graces of heaven and earth, he’s going to savor every moment rebuilding the trust that his savior has lost.