Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reflections

I have got to say that this year has been crazy. Not all bad or good, just crazy. I'm hoping that next year will mellow out a little for me and if I can push my luck, it'll bring a lot more joy with it than the past two years have brought.
I know some of you have been wondering what happened to me - I was posting quite often and then seemed to have disappeared. Well, life. In August I got really sick. I was having rather intense abdominal pain every time I ate or drank anything - including water. My symptoms stumped even the head of the Gastrointestinal facility I went to. We decided that for lack of anything else to do, I should get rid of my gallbladder. So, right before Halloween I had surgery.
I felt back to normal almost immediately, except for some small adjustments that no one really tells you about until after you have the surgery and are experiencing "busters in-and-out."
So, while adjusting to that, Thanksgiving comes and goes, sharing with me a wonderful sinus infection. The antibiotics throw my body completely back to square one, and just before Christmas I started putting it back in place.
With all that going on, I'm waiting for my editor to get back to me with the final edits for Choice, I've been slowly working on Convergence, started a new non-fiction short, and have changed the setting for The Head Hunter and have been working on that rather intensely. I'm hoping that 2017 will see at lest 3 releases for you to enjoy. That's my goal, and as long as things progress as they have the last half of this year, it should be attainable.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 find you in good spirits with reasons to be positive. <3
~Jean

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Positivity

I have a friend who's in the hospital. He's one of the most ridiculous (in a good way) people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
A few years ago, he found himself in rehab trying to learn to walk with an amputated leg. Being a good friend, I wanted to let him know I was there for him, I cared, and help if he needed anything. I was a bundle of nerves as I went to his room. Losing a limb can change a person. He'd always been positive and silly, but would this make him depressed? Would he be angry? Or could we joke and would he find the pirate hat I had in the car as funny as he used to?
Walking into his room, he was just finishing his jello and greeted me with a hearty "argh!" We talked, laughed, and while he did admit to feeling sad about losing his limb, he thought the whole pirate angle was hilarious. Said he'd get a fake parrot for the next time he had to meet with PT. Months later, he got a tattoo on his other leg with a finger pointing to the stump and above it read "I'm with Stumpy."
Last week he lost the other leg.
This was after he lost his dog of 10 years, his step-father passed before that, and two weeks prior to surgery, his mom had a stroke. I thought for sure he'd be sucking on a bullet. Nope. I walked in and he greeted me with a big smile. "Hey skinny! How you doing?" (I've lost weight in the past few months - not on purpose) "Those better not have cost you very much." He sends me an accusing glare as I hand him a stuffed cat with about 10 balloons pinned to it.
I shake it off, knowing he'd look at them and smile a little when I left, so they were worth the ridiculous fee the hospital charges. We talked for a while, catching up on things and he was telling me the various things he could envision as he looked at the watercolor flower painting on his wall. His doc came in to talk about pain meds and left. After she left, he looked at me and said, "well, I always did admire Lt. Dan."
It took me a second, and then we just laughed and laughed.
I left, amazed that someone could still maintain their sense of humor and positive outlook in life after all that had happened. He's crazy, and humbles me almost every time we talk. I want to be that positive light in someones life.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Family


I am so excited and nervous to meet my uncle next month. He called today to let me know that he's gotten his tickets and will be here for a work conference and would like to finally meet face-to-face. This past year has been surreal because family I never thought I'd know, contacted us. 
Let me rewind a bit. My mom was adopted and never knew her birth family. I always knew that I might have more family out in the ether that I may or may not ever meet. When dating, it was always in the back of my mind; I prayed I wasn't accidentally kissing my cousin - ew. Years went by, I got married, and the family question faded into the background; except on the rare occasion that someone wanted family history for some reason or another. 
My sister-in-law lost her brother and went on a rampage about how important family bonds were. Said I should be doing anything and everything I could to find my mom's birth parents. It opened the old questions and old wounds. We had never really been accepted in my mom's adoptive family. Never really in any of our family, if I'm being honest. There was always that undercurrent of - something. It was an unspoken barrier that I knew at an early age that I'd never overcome. So I always kept my distance, kept quiet, to myself, and tried not to let being the black sheep bother me. I have relationships with my family members now, it's easier to maintain now that communication has been relegated to fb, texts, and the occasional face time. No more awkward family reunions, or really many family gatherings at all. And when there are, it's easy just to showcase the positive in life. 
So, a few months ago, my mom was contacted by her younger brother. She gave him my info, and we've all been dealing with the discovery of family. I started understanding my sister-in-law's obsession with family, and I've been struggling to put into words why knowing them has been so important. 
Will it change my day-to-day life? No. 
I was trying to discuss it with my husband, who I thought would understand as he doesn't really know much of his family either, but nope. He just doesn't care to have more people in his life. He's content with his little circle of life, his routine, and has no desire to change it. He asked me, "What's getting to know them going to do? Add people to your Christmas Card list?"
And it really hit me that - no. Knowing them won't alter my life in a dramatic life-changing scene like you see in the movies. That's not the point. It's family. It's a chance to truly be accepted for who I am, not what people want me to be - by family, not friends. And while having him accept me or not won't change anything in my life, the little girl in me craves it. It answers some questions as to why we are the way we are, history, genetics. It's important in a thousand different ways, yet vastly unimportant. It was Schrodinger's Cat, and now the box has been opened. Does it truly change anything, knowing if the cat was alive or dead? Not really - unless it was your cat.
I just needed to vent. To try to explain away confusing emotions without hiding. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

My special little princess

My oldest cat is the most annoying, adorable little pile of fur you'd ever want to strangle. Most days she tries every possible way to purr her little body as close to me or my hubs as she can. If she's awake, you can usually hear her purr from the moment you enter the living room to the moment another cat enters her six-foot visual radius. Then the most god-awful growl/yowl emits from her throat, making you think that in seconds she may be torn to shreds.
Damona is fourteen and absolutely hates cats.
I've tried explaining to her that she, herself, is a cat, but she'll have none of that. We've come to a compromise, however. She will tolerate, even play with, the black cats in our house. But any of the others that come anywhere near here - beware. The screech of impending death will emit; interrupting whatever it is anyone in the house was doing, inciting a sliver of panic that she may, in fact, be facing her last moments on Earth. When said cat moves on to whatever it is they were doing in the first place, she will quiet down, hunkering in her cat-cube-of-safety until a cat-free human settles on the couch.
Another part of our truce is her room. Yes. You read that right. My 14-year-old cat has her own human-sized room, and has had this room all to herself for years. She has everything a cat could ever dream of in this room - a pillow snuggled on a shelf under the desk, a window seat, cat scratch post, cat condo, litter box, food, water, and a large dog bed complete with blankets. Each night as I go to bed, I gather her up, trying to avoid her claws as she reaches to cling to me - there may be an evil cat in the room that I didn't see, just waiting for the split second they need to rip her to shreds. I take her over to the hubs and he gives her kisses. We then traverse through the terrifying house, narrowly making it down the hallway of doom into her bedroom. Here I have to let her see the vast open space so she knows that none of the evil creatures have followed us into her sanctuary. Only then can I place her delicately upon her fluffy dog bed so that she can saunter toward her food dish.
Her night-light doubles as a wax-burner, keeping her room smelling like fruit or some random flower she's never seen. Fulfilling my nightly duties, I am dismissed so the delicate princess can nom her food in privacy. I turn off the light, closing the door until it clicks closed.
In the morning I open it and let her out. Usually I have to retrieve her from wherever she decided to curl up and take her back out to her perch in the living room. Lord forbid I leave her to traverse the hallway of doom by herself! Keep in mind, that three feet from her perch is another litter box, food, water, and my couch. (I'm insanely clean and no, you can't smell cat crap when you sit on my couch - that would be beyond disgusting!) Usually the other cats come out for breakfast (which is in the other room, but still visible from her perch) and then go immediately back to the king-sized tempurpedic bed and pass out until we come home from work.
They all have such a hard life.
Over the past couple of months, she's been increasingly annoying in her bedroom, and the hubs has been opening her door when he comes to bed so that he can actually sleep without hearing the song of her people. She's actually gotten to where she doesn't even want to go to her room - she wants to stay out in the living room and sleep on her perch. Rather than argue, we thought that maybe she was getting over her strange paranoia and hatred of cats, so we've been letting her be a "big girl" and rule the house as she sees fit.
I got home today, sat on my spot on the couch, and smelled something I hate - cat pee. The litter box was clean, the couch unsoiled, and I crawled around on hands and knees looking for where she had her "accident." I finally found it on the folded blanket she slept on the previous night. She has now been thrown (figuratively, not actually thrown) into her dungeonous room, where she is meowing, scratching, and whining at the door; and the rest of our house is being scrubbed with bleach - just in case.
Exactly what I wanted to do on my Friday night.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Personal conversation

I've had some rather interesting personal conversations with people as of late, namely with one of my sisters. It got me to thinking about how everyone has their own path, their own way to decipher life's lessons and challenges. And I wondered how many others were having similar conversations with people close to them. So I thought I'd share a part of the most recent conversation with you, in hopes that it may help. At the very least, it will help you know that you aren't alone in your struggle.

Sister: I don't want validation from anyone, but I feel like I need it sometimes and it's so frustrating. It's like, my day is fine and then, for whatever reason, it completely crashes to the worst thoughts possible. I don't know why I go to such extreme self deprecation when times are a little challenging. It's annoying.

Me: It's a part of healing, I think. I go through it too sometimes. Less than I used to, but I still get that way.

Her: I don't go through it often, but there's been a lot of change in my life that has been difficult. Combine that with recent birthdays, and family pressure to find someone to be with, I struggle.

Me: The hardest part of life, I think, is not living according to other's ideas and opinions of how you should live. I've literally had people ask why my husband stays with me, since I can't, and won't, give him people kids. I listen to the disappointment from the entire family because I'm not doing something that "matters" with my life. I get to have interventions because I'm grossly overweight. I see how people look at me. I hear what's being said behind my back. I feel the pressure to exercise, diet, become a nurse, have people kids, and it's hard. I like who I am, but I don't fit with the mold. Most days are okay, but on the days that aren't, well, I try not to live in that darkness anymore. It's a struggle, and maybe no one else will ever see my worth, but I do, and that's all that matters.
You're still growing, recovering, and healing. You're not going to define yourself overnight. And you'll find whoever you're meant to be with when the time is right. Just because you do things differently than what society expects, doesn't mean it's wrong. It's just different. And that's okay.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Huge sale by one of my favorite authors!

Biggest sale on books you may or may not have heard of!  

 Many have read these, many more have not. Some will share this because they love them, other won't because they don't wish to inflict my books on people they care about. On the flip side of that, if you didn't like them, share this to your enemies! Plenty of opportunity abounds for lovers and haters alike! Here is your chance to spread the love (or torture those you feel are deserving). All of my eBooks are on sale in one way or another, so take advantage of it since I don't do these often. The sale runs from today, May 27th thru Monday, May 30th  
  A New Beginning (short prequel) - FREE AD 4
 In the War of Fire, death often heralds a new beginning… Dragons, magic, and war are commonplace for sixteen year old Emallya. Though she longs for the simple life of hearth and home, some things are not meant to be. Her dreams for the future are changed in a single night when battle breaches the walls of her home, and she finds her true calling. The innocent hopes of youth are cast aside as Emallya steps forward into a future she never imagined for herself. *This is a short story within the Dragon's Call world and includes a bonus peek into Embers at Galdrilene, the first Dragon's Call book.
Get it FREE on Amazon   
  Embers at Galdrilene (Dragon's Call book 1) embers new cover
 “A ray of light, a stain of shadow, shall endure to breathe life and death into the future” The war between the Guardians and the Shadow Riders ended in total devastation. The final battle killed all the dragons and left nothing but fields of ash. A small clutch of dragon eggs was all that remained to provide hope for the future. Five hundred years later, the ability to use magic is a death sentence and dragons are remembered as a curse. But the unhatched dragons sing for their riders...and six lives will be changed forever. The elements of magic are drawn together as the dragons’ call leads them on a journey where they learn everything they've been taught to believe about magic and dragons is wrong. With the last of the dragons and the world at stake, they will risk everything to heed the call. But an evil from the past rises again. Shadow Dragons ride the dawn once more...  
Get it for .99 on Amazon   
  Tears of War (Dragon's Call book 2) New Tears of War cover
 “Old things come again and new things surface.” Faced with a looming war, the riders have no choice but to leave the safety of Galdrilene and reach out to the nations for help. But the Shadow Riders are doing the same and not all nations are opposed to their rule. New discoveries are made, old wounds are reopened and betrayal hides among welcoming smiles. As one nation begins to unravel it’s clear that some choices, even those made with the best of intentions, can have devastating consequences.  
Get it for 1.99 on Amazon  
  Ashes and Spirits (Dragon's Call book 3)
Smaller cover
 “The incomplete weave breeds the darkness…” Presented with impossible odds, the Guardians struggle to hold against the Shadow Riders. While enemies from within are discovered and allegiances are formed, the losses mount. As the war escalates, one Guardian may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save all.  
  Get it for 1.99 on Amazon  
  Bound by Time -FREEBBT_AD_Trosper_FC_Amazon
 Time knows no bounds when you are tested to your limits… Isobel Moore is looking forward to spending her summer break alone while her parents are overseas. But when she returns home from college she discovers it’s no longer the welcoming place it used to be…and that something sinister now resides within. As Isobel begins to question her sanity, a mysterious neighbor moves next door with plenty of his own secrets…and Damien DeLuca has the uncanny ability to always show up when the unexplainable happens. Now Isobel must unravel a past that tests her limits and everything she thought she knew—before the darkness kills her.

  Get it for FREE on Amazon  
  Bound by Legend
Featured Image -- 1759
 When demons show up there will be hell to pay… At nineteen Morgan has already faced more loss than she can handle and has more experience living on the street than she wants. Unable to do anything other than keep on the move in order to hide from the demons that hunt her, she guards her heart and emotions carefully. But when the demons start talking to her and calling her by a name from another life, things spiral beyond her control. Lucian, an ancient dark angel who has seen his fair share of lives, is happy being a free agent until he’s assigned to Morgan. Determined to do everything on her own, she’s unlike any channel he’s ever met. As the danger mounts and a demon prepares to open a gateway to the underworld, Morgan must find a way to overcome her past in order stop him. Offered what her heart desperately wants, and holding a key that will close the gate but open another, Morgan struggles find the strength to make the right choice.
  Get it for .99 on Amazon  

  What people are saying about the Dragon's Call books The people that were happy: "I thoroughly enjoy these books and feel anyone that love true Fantasy, full of magic and dragons, will enjoy these books. The characters are richly written and the storyline is addictive. The interaction between dragon and rider is some of the best Fantasy I’ve read. I love the relationships the author has developed between the two." "Took a well used genre (dragon riders) but added a new twist that had me struggling to put the book down. Real page turner that keeps you on your toes." "All 3 books are just wonderful. From start to finish it will keep on edge just waiting for what will come next. You won't be disappointed!! These books have gotten me in trouble!! I couldn't put it down, tried for work as a result!! Dragon Loves must read set. Looking forward to reading more books by this Author!!!" And the people who weren't happy: "Very boring. ...." "This book might take prize for overall, most cliche fantasy book Ive read this year."   And those that are neither: USA Bestseller List says, "Who are you?" New York Times says, "This is a restraining order..."   The happy for the Bound series: "Such a sweet, romantic and action packed story. From the onset, you're drawn in and intrigued by everything going on. I never knew a window could be so menacing!" "I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bound by Time." "Amazing & intriguing story. From the very beginning I was drawn in & it never disappointed." The unhappy: "The storyline was slow and uneventful with very little happening along the way." "Dull..." "Hated main character."   USA Bestseller lists says, "We still have no clue who you are."        

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Strange little world

The past few weeks have been strange, to say the least. I come from a complicated family (really, who doesn't any more?), and that family just became more. I just sent my first text to an uncle I never knew I had. It's weird. We've been talking online for a couple weeks, and sometimes I feel like I'm writing to the personals. Like: I'm 35, I like motorcycle riding, playing with my cats, and long walks on the beach. Please, tell me about yourself.
Have you ever encountered family you never knew existed? It's trippy. How do you condense a lifetimes worth of stories into a casual, singular conversation?
I've been dying to talk to people about it, but am never sure what - or how much - to say. My inner child is screaming: "I have family! Yippie!"
And it's insane how much the family we're learning matches the family we know. It's like life took a mirror at a certain point in time and said, "you're making this huge change, let's see how each path will go." On one path, you have an outcast who's rejected by family. The other has a core family rejected by the extended. You see how things really aren't any different, yet everything is. It's weird, and tough to process.
I had to talk to someone, even if it was just vague. Thanks for being there, and being patient while my world continues to erupt into the strange and unusual. <3