The honest truth about what drives me crazy.

I honestly couldn’t think of a better title for this blog post, so I’m just putting it as bluntly as I know how.

This post is talking about what drives me crazy, bonkers, absolutely mad.

It’s not the actual writing process.  It isn’t even editing (which will do a number on anybody.)

Actually….

It’s having so many voices in my head and all of them trying to talk at once.

I can go weeks, or months, without my characters saying a word.  And then one day they all decide to chime in.

“ME FIRST!”

“NO! ME ME ME!”

“I GOT HERE BEFORE YOU.”

“SHUT UP. IT’S MY TURN.”

“BUT MY BOOK IS ALMOST FINISHED. GO AWAY.”

“BACK OF THE LINE, YOU IDIOT.”

“SHE LOVES ME MOST!”

Yeah….this is my life.  It happens about three times a year and this is one of those times.

Yes. It makes me feel crazy.

People ask me all the time when my next book is coming out and that’s never an easy answer.  I really do try to work on this or that, but then something else comes along and absolutely will not shut up until I open a word document to write what they want to say.

Sometimes it leads to a dead end, but sometimes it spawns an entirely new novel that I just have to finish…..because they demand it.

I’m the type of writer who has to work on multiple projects at once.  If I get stuck on one thing, I’ll always have something else to bounce to.  This helps me evade writer’s block, but it doesn’t always work. >.<

Because then I have fifty people coming at me at once…wanting me to write about them.

Like now.

Sure, I’d love to finish up the Kadenburg Series, or finish my last vampire novel so the world can have it….but it’s really not that easy.  Not for me.  I don’t think I’m alone in that either.

I just have to wait patiently for one voice to become distinctive.  One storyline to rule them all. But until that happens I’ll continue bouncing back and forth in a pinball machine of characters and their endless possibilities.

They’re demanding little buggers.

When will my next book be out?

Ridener Reviews: Resilient Heart by Annabeth Albert

5 out of 5 stars.

Get your copy HERE

Once again I made the mistake of reading Annabeth’s work as something to fall asleep to. I don’t do it because I think it’ll bore me, I do it because her writing relaxes me..but the issue is I can’t stop reading until I reach THE END. Her work is that addictive for me. She won me over with Winning Bracket and I seriously enjoyed Resilient Heart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this woman’s writing is poetic. Her words just flow together and she has a way with wording things.

She’ll make you blush. She’ll make you laugh. She’ll make you feel butterflies. I believe she’s a very interactive author when she tells stories. She gets you involved in the book. I enjoyed Xander and Mackey, best-friends-with-benefits turned so much more.

I won’t give away the story, but it basically involves a man who’s been broken in more ways than one. He feels guilty and angry. His best friend, Mackey, feels guilty, too, but not for the reasons Xander thinks.

As someone who has known people suffering from physical and mental wounds from war, I appreciated this love story. I wish every soldier who came back had someone who loved them as much as Mackey loves Xander. It’s a truly touching tale and I’d recommend it to others.

I’m not going to dock stars off this because I adore this author’s work and it’s a darn good book, but one thing I did notice is a very common theme of moms (which maybe she just loves her mom and loves having gay men who have supportive moms). I just felt a lot of similarities of these characters with Edwin and Ollie from Winning Bracket. Like..you could take those two and place them in the military and tada! But it was still an amazing story and I really, really enjoyed it a lot. Annabeth has true talent and she’s going to go far. Keep writing magical stories!

Oh, and I feel it’s amusing and important to make note that when I read a particular part about how Xander is capable of making Mackey crumble–I was listening to All of Me and it said “You’re my downfall” at the very same time. Just funny. I’m going to shut up now.

Ridener Reviews: Winning Bracket by Annabeth Albert

5 OUT OF 5 STARS

GET IT HERE.

This was one of those instances where I couldn’t fall asleep straight away so I picked up something to read and -hopefully- make myself tired within a few moments.

This was the wrong book to choose.

It only took about 10 pages for me to become attached to the characters of Edwin and Ollie.  It took about 30 pages to realize this book was capable of giving me butterflies and making me smile.

I believe Annabeth Albert is a very talented writer.  I’ve never read her work before, but I intend to read more in the future.

Edwin and Ollie are RAs in college and couldn’t be more opposite from one another.

You know what they say.

Opposites attract.

God do they ever in this book!

I really enjoyed the story, but I loved the characters most of all.  I became really attached to Edwin and Ollie and I was rooting for them.

It is my belief that a story is really good when it can make you feel sick to your stomach over a dreaded scene.

(I’m not trying to give anything away though, I promise!)

This book was the perfect combination of sweet, sexy, charming, and funny.  My hat is off to the author for writing a blowjob scene that was equal parts sexy, sensual, and just…beautiful.  I can’t say I’ve read anything like it before.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I really enjoyed it a lot. <3

It’s been a while….

Indeed it has been a while and I apologize for that.  My mind has been in a million places at once and it wasn’t easy to find my way back.

The one thing I have always tried to do is be as honest with you, my readers, as possible.  I am just as human as you.  I bleed when I’m cut, I cry when I’m hurt, and sometimes I feel tremendous pain that I don’t know how to deal with.

I’ve only touched base on this once I think, because I’m not proud to talk about it.  It makes me very ashamed, actually.  I am ashamed of myself most of the time because of it.  It’s hard to deal with.

Depression is very real and it happens to a lot of people.  I happen to one of them.

[This isn’t my picture. I don’t take credit for it. If you own it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.]

When I was in high school I dealt with some of the hardest depression of my life when my parents got divorced.  I went through a hell I don’t care to return to, but sometimes I find myself slipping back into that darkness and I can only pray to God that I make it out of it alive.

It’s scary when you get to a certain point where nothing seems to matter anymore.  You hate everything, but you hate nothing more than you hate yourself.

I just got back, honestly.  The last two weeks have been very bad for me and my stories have suffered.  Things have been strained.

Sure, I can laugh and smile and cut up with you, but on the inside I am screaming.  I hate that.

I hate that I hated myself.  I hate that I had such horrible thoughts.  I hate that I wanted to throw everything away.

I’ve worked hard to be who I am today.  I’ve worked hard to write stories people enjoy.  I’ll keep writing those stories, just so you know, but they have been on pause for the last little while until I could pull myself back together.

There was one point when I told myself I was nothing but a joke.  I can’t write.  I suck at it.  I don’t create anything special when it comes to stories.  Writers like me are a dime a dozen….

You can imagine how angry this made the characters in my head, huh? They didn’t like it.  -I- didn’t like it.  But that’s hard to explain to someone who’s never dealt with depression/known someone who fights it daily.

It’s pretty much invisible.  It only happens inside of my head.  Those are the scariest battles of all.

I think I’m going to be okay now.  Yesterday I woke up without feeling like I was going to have a panic attack.  No sudden tears came.  I was able to breathe easy for the first time in what seemed to be an eternity.

I’m grateful for that.

I guess I’m making this post because I want to reach out to anyone who may be in my situation.  You’re not alone. There are people who care about you and they want to help.  Even if you feel they don’t, reach out to them.  Don’t fight this on your own.

I’m sorry to those I’ve kept distant in the last little while, but it’s hard to talk about it.  It’s hard to explain.

I just hope I can keep my head above water for a while.  That temporary sensation of drowning sucks.

Have a wonderful day. <3

Ridener Reviews: Love Me Steady by Elle Vanzandt

lovemesteadyebookcoverLOVE ME STEADY BY ELLE VANZANDT.

FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS

MY REVIEW:

I’m trying to find the right words that I want to say about this book. I think it’s very unique and different from what you’re used to reading, so that’s a good reason to give it a shot. Elle Vanzandt has given us a story that will most certainly be relatable to everyone, but a particular group of people will find this story to be one of their favorites, I think.

I’m trying to say enough without giving it away, as I know it’s the author’s wish to keep the surprise…well, a surprise. Just let me say that I enjoyed this book and I loved the characters. I believe Elle Vanzandt is going to go places and I wish her nothing but the very best in the future.

More Brian, please? Is that possible?

You can purchase LOVE ME STEADY on Amazon today!

Love Me Steady by Elle Vanzandt — Blog Tour Stop! Right here!

LoveMeSteadyTou

Love Me Steady

by Elle Vanzandt

Publication Date: December 31, 2014

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Tour: Love Me Steady by Elle Vanzandt

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Synopsis

Penelope ‘Nellie’ Brennan has finally had it! Tired of her health problems holding her back, Nellie is determined to do just whatever she wants to do and no one is going to stop her. First item on the list for the determined 17-year old: secure a date to her first school formal dance. Second: find the perfect dress.

Brian Moss has agreed to a favor for his Mama: take her friend’s daughter to the girl’s first formal dance. All it took was a glance at Nellie for Brian’s interest to be piqued. He needed to know more.

What started out as a half-blind date, soon became so much more when Brian learns of Nellie’s big secret. Even after discovering the truth, Brian doesn’t run from her. Nellie is as surprised as those near and dear to her. But can Nellie trust him to stay? Will Brian be able to handle things when they get even harder? Can their quickly-deepening relationship survive the truth?

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About Elle Vanzandt

ElleVanzandt

Elle Vanzandt grew up a Navy brat who has had the privilege of living in many places but she will always call Illinois her home. A wife to a caring husband, a stay-at-home mom to two amazing children, a blogger, and a writer, she wears many hats. With determination and strength taught to her by her mother, she has made it through many obstacles, always sticking with the family motto ‘pull up your bootstraps and get it done’. Writing is an adventure she could have never predicted but is enjoying the ride all the same.

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2015 has finally arrived.

Well it’s here whether we’re ready for it or not.  This is the year Marty McFly traveled to.  This is the year I will turn 30.

This is the year we will all achieve our dreams and become the most awesome people on earth.

Actually I’m pretty sure we’re already the latter, so let’s work on the former, okay?

I don’t really have much to say in this blog post, but I’m trying to make it a habit to post more frequently because I realize a lot of you like to keep up with my shenanigans.  I’m going to try very hard—don’t hold me to it, but I will TRY.

Everybody keeps asking me what my resolutions are going to be, but the truth is I don’t really believe in those so much.  I make a mile-long list of things I want to change and then I either forget about it or fail dramatically by the end of the year.

However, I do have a few things that I’m going to try (very hard) to do.

1. Grow a backbone.

I have a tendency to let people step on me.  I rarely voice my opinion and yes, I’m one of those people who will ‘take it lying down’.  That needs to change.  All the bullying and bossing is going to stop.  I’m not letting that happen anymore because I deserve better.

2. Write often.

Oh gosh, it’s true.  I know I’ve been super busy since November with charity stuff, but I need to make a habit of writing daily.  I don’t care if I only write a paragraph, it’s gotta happen.  Writers write.  It’s what we do and I need to start taking the advice I give to everyone else.

3. Love myself as much as I love others.

This was actually something I posted about yesterday.  It was from a quiz and it gave you a generated resolution.  Mine said, “Love others as much as Kanye loves himself.”  But the truth it, I’ve never really loved myself much.  I need to work on that.

4.  End one of my book series.

I currently have….4? The Kadenburg Shifters Series, Blood Betrayal, The Descendants, and The Divine Sacrifice Trilogy.  I’d like to end 2 of those if possible.  It sucks when you have to say goodbye to characters you love, but it feels right to end a few of them soon.

5. Hit the best sellers list.  Again.

I’m not going to lie.  I loved hitting the best sellers list and I want to do it again.  I don’t know when or how or with what, but it will happen.

6. Help my friends succeed.

Whatever my friends decide to do, I want to help them succeed.

7. Visit my family more often.

All of my family members live within a half-hour of me.  Why we don’t see each other more is a bit flummoxing.  That needs to change because with every year older I’m getting–so are they.

8.  End my relationship with Camels.

This is definitely one of my biggest goals for 2015 and it’s going to be hard to achieve.  I’d like to break-up with cigarettes FOR GOOD.  I’ve been smoking for 11 years and it’s time to say goodbye.  You’re taking too much money from me, cigarettes.  You’re making my life miserable even though my brain insists I need you—I don’t.  I really, really don’t.

I thought I only had a few resolutions, but surprise!

What goals do you have?  Feel free to share them below. xx

Happy New Year!