Giftapalooza 2k15 is underway!


It’s that time of year again! Giftapalooza is a yearly event in which readers, bloggers, and authors come together to help the families of other readers, bloggers, and authors have a good Christmas.  Be it because of illness, work, a death in the family, or simply because times are hard, Gifapalooza’s Santas are already filing in to help make Christmas happen for those in need.

Please consider joining us at our event and help out these wonderful kids.

You can also donate a thank you gift for our Santas!

If you’d like to donate for gifts, please send a paypal donation or an Amazon GC.  You can get more information on that by PMing us on our Facebook page.

Thanks for reading. x

180 Days and other #transromance stories

Forgive me, readers for I have sinned.  It has been 3 months since my last blog update.

I’m so terrible at blogging.

Anyway, so over the weekend I released my first ever transgender romance story, 180 Days, and I have to tell you I was terrified.  Being from a small southern town, I have always been frightened of writing what I truly want to write–and this does vary.  I can write on bear-shifters one day and switch over to ‘human’ stories the next day.  I really never know what my brain is going to do, but that is neither here or there.

Much like my M/M romance novel Chartreuse, I contemplated long and hard if I should go through with the idea so deep in my heart.  It was a fire that burned brighter and hotter than most story ideas I get.  I knew I had to finish it.

Sharing it with the world was another lengthy decision.  People are so quick to judge, yes–they still do that in the 21st century, and there are still many people out there who won’t share such stories because of their ‘beliefs’.  I’m okay with that.  Truly, I am.  I even lost a few likes after posting the buy-link for it, and again, I’m okay with that.

However, what bothered me is when I went onto Twitter and started looking up the simple hashtag “transromance”.  Hardly any exist at all!

Is it because these writers are also afraid of being judged?  Of being ridiculed?  Or perhaps they are just too shy to post them on social media?

I have decided to remedy that and I’ve looked up all the transromance stories I can.  No, these are not the ‘gender bender’ stories you can find on Amazon.  Yes, those are all fine and dandy, but they are also very sci-fi with men magically becoming women and vice versa.  They do not show the struggles and discrimination our fellow human beings face.

They’re not what really happens.

Now I’m not saying my book is 100% accurate.  I did A LOT of research. I asked A LOT of questions. The trans community was very hesitant about opening up to me and can you blame them?

41 percent of trans people attempt suicide.

Do you see that number? Does it make you feel sick to your stomach?  It should.

I spoke to a very kind and open-minded transman today and I enjoyed our conversation immensely.  He’s going to help me with the next book in my series.  The secondary character I’m bumping up to main character for this one (yep, that still happens!) is a transman.

His quote is honestly the only quote I need.

“Education combats ignorance.”

That is exactly what I plan to do.  I am an ally for the LGBT community and have been for a long time.  I believe that love is love and we all deserve to be happy.

I just wish everyone felt that way.

So without further adieu, here is my list of #transromance stories for you to enjoy.

***PLEASE NOTE: I have not read the following stories and cannot give an honest review.  The only one I am knowledgable of is 180 Days, for obvious reasons.***


Love Over Lamb: The Unconditional Love Series

by J.M. Steger

A story of a hope, fear, anxiety, and unconditional love. Join Milo in this short-story as he hopes to find someone who will love him without conditions and accept him as he is. 
Milo is a transgender man in search of acceptance not only with his parents who have all but disowned him but from his new love interest Chance. However, Chance doesn’t know that Milo is transgender – can Chance accept Milo and love him without conditions?

His Fair Lady (Exception to the Rule Book 2)

by Kimberly Gardner

Related Title: Almost Heaven 

Mark Talleo is something of a dog with the ladies. Any girl, anytime, anywhere is his motto until he meets Josie Frazier. The long lean redhead not only shares his love of musical theatre, but her smoky sexy voice and infectious laugh drive Mark wild and haunt his every step. Equally fascinating is his sense that she has a secret, one he is determined to uncover on his way to becoming her leading man. 

Josie does have a secret, one she guards with her whole self. Although she has always known she was female, her name used to be Joey and she’s still biologically male. As much as she yearns for love and acceptance, her fear of rejection is just as strong. 

Mark’s need to know the truth is matched only by Josie’s need to hide it. But when malicious gossip reveals her deepest secret the price of honesty may turn out to be too high to pay. But if each can accept that the woman he wants is the woman she is then at last Mark may find His Fair Lady.

Illusions In The Mist

by D.T. Peterson

Dominique was the girl of Zack’s dreams, she was everything he had ever hoped for and desired. 
Little did he realize everything was not always as it seemed, shrouded in the mist of uncertainty and a future he couldn’t comprehend. 
“Just remember,” she uttered, as they writhed in undulating, lust craved ecstasy, “there is no going back, some things can never be undone.” 
Had he only comprehended the finality of those words…

Staying Her: A Transgender Romance

by Jace

‘True love smoulders, not burns,’ John had always thought. That is, until he meets Kirsty, a gorgeous, enigmatic woman with emerald hair. There’s only one problem: Kirsty is actually a man – a man who happens to spend every waking second of his time as a girl – but a man no less. Well, that and the fact that John is in a relationship, one that he doesn’t plan on getting out of anytime soon. 

The Definition of Normal

by ES Carpenter

A tender love story of two best friends who grow up living next door to each other since they were five. One matures to become the outward definition of normal, and one struggles but falls short. Together they start a journey of discovery and uncover a meaning far greater than the socially popular interpretation, and through their mutual caring, both come to understand the deeper conflicts facing those who fall short of accepted norms. This is the story of their life together as they try to fit a definition that eludes more than our society acknowledges. How their friendship turns into a love that ends up defining their lives. A story about what unconditional love and acceptance truly mean as they spend the rest of their lives trying together to fit the definition of normal. 
Adult version. Contains scenes of intimacy

180 Days

by T.E. Ridener

Lydia McIntosh left her old life behind when she said goodbye to Prairie Town, North Carolina and started over halfway across the country with her beloved Gran; away from her family, away from everyone who knew the person she once was, and from the identity she never quite wanted in the first place. When her grandmother passes away, she returns home and while she only intends to stay for the funeral, her grandmother has other plans, from the grave. Her will states that Lydia must remain in Prairie Town for six months in order to give her family and her old town a chance to get to know the new her, the real her. 

Lydia has had years to adjust to long hair, summer dresses, and nail polish, but she understands her family will need time to get reacquainted with a daughter they’ve never known and a sister they’ve missed terribly. Anticipating the worst, as she always has, Lydia’s feelings about her old town begin to change when she meets her brother’s best friend, Callum. Callum is kind and more accepting than she could have ever imagined and she’s falling for him. 

When her 180 days are over, will she be able to say goodbye to the family she’s missed so much? Will she survive her mother’s endless intolerance? Can she really leave the man who acknowledges her past and still wants her? 

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a story about a transgender girl and her journey to acceptance and love when she returns to her hometown. Within the pages of this book you will be introduced to characters who color outside the lines and that’s just how they like it. I implore you to give them a chance because we are all beautiful and unique in our own ways, and we all deserve love and happiness.

Did I miss one that needs to be added? Sound off in the comments and I’ll put it on the list!

Visit T.E. Ridener on her author page.

Check out T.E. Ridener’s books.

Ramble, Yadda Yadda

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know how this post is going to go: I mean to say one thing, but I’ll get totally derailed and start talking about something else.  Please bear with me. I apologize in advance.

For the last 24 hours, I have been writing almost non-stop on Blood Resurrection, the final book in the Blood Betrayal Series.  This book has been in the making for over a year and a half and I keep pushing it off.  Why? Because I have to say goodbye to my vampires.

Believe you me, it was not a wise decision to release three different series within 2 years and then decide to end them all at once.  It’s brain suicide to me.  I’ve grown close to my characters and I hate to see them go, so I’m procrastinating.  It has to happen eventually though, right?

[sad face]

So anyway, my mind has wandered, as it tends to do, and I’ve been thinking about many different things tonight.

One thought I often have is, “Man, I suck. I really suck.  Why do I keep doing this to myself?”

I think that’s a thought a lot of writers can relate to.  We all doubt ourselves at one point or another during this journey.  Some of us only think it once, or if you’re like me, you think it often.

I can’t help it. It’s not that I don’t love my stories.  It’s not that I’m not proud of them–trust me, I am.  I’m so proud it hurts sometimes.  They say anyone can write a book, but that simply isn’t true.  I know lots of people , who will willingly admit, they can’t string an entire sentence together and make it make sense.

Those of us who can tell stories, we are rare.  Sure, go ahead and think anyone can write a book, but I’m telling you right now not everyone is a storyteller.

Where was I?  Self-doubt.  Right.

I do it more than I want to admit and it can be downright discouraging.  I read back through my manuscripts and go between “Oh my god, that’s awful” to “Wow, I really wrote that?  Really?

Writing is my life. I breathe writing. I live writing.  If I could marry writing?  Heck yeah, I would. We’ve been meant to be be since the day I came into the world and we will live happily ever after, but right now….

Yeah, the weird thoughts linger.  I can’t help it.  I know I don’t completely suck because I have fans.  I have readers who ask every day when the next book is coming out.  I’m trying–I swear I am, but sometimes I get distracted by pretty shiny things.  My bad.

I also understand there is room for improvement.  Comparing the last book I released to the very first one I ever published is like reading two very different books from two very different people.  This is a learn-as-you-go experience. You get better with time.  You get better with the advice you receive from others and from what readers have to say in their reviews.  (I cannot stress ENOUGH how important it is to at least give an example of what can be corrected when you leave a review. It helps TREMENDOUSLY.)

Blah blah. I’m rambling. I know.

I haven’t made a blog post in a while so I thought, what the heck? Why not?  And this is the result.  I may have almost 4,000 likes on my author page now, and I may receive high praise from people who fall in love with my characters (which I am so grateful for), but I still have self-doubt and it’s likely I always will.

I’m not perfect at what I do, but I tell stories the best way I can, as only I can.

We are all different.

I can’t compare myself to Anne Rice or Stephen King, but I can aspire to write wonderful stories just as they do–and that is exactly what I try to accomplish.

Don’t ever compare yourself to another writer because there is only one THEM and only one YOU.

Get what I’m saying?

I hope so. I tend not to make sense in these little rambles, but there you have it.

I think now is a good time to shut up, so happy reading, happy writing, happy life. <3

My Dream Cast for the remake of The Craft

Hey, 90’s kids.  I’m sure you’ve heard by now, they’re remaking The Craft.

I know.  I know.  My heart broke, too. I might have cried a bit as well.  You can’t just mess with these things.  I have watched a lot of movies I’ve loved get remade.  Some of them were good and some of them were more like…

“What the HECK were you thinking?”

I won’t name them…nope.

Anyway, so now they’re remaking The Craft which is undeniably one of the best films from my adolescence.  It was so full of magic and teen angst.  Who didn’t like it?

My friend shared an article with me about the ‘recast’ of The Craft and while I agreed with two of their casting choices, I thought it might be fun to make one of my own.  So without further adieu…

Sarah Bailey – originally portrayed by Robin Tunney

My choice: Emma Watson

Nancy Downs – originally portrayed by Fairuza Balk

My choice: Chloe Grace Moretz

Bonnie – originally portrayed by Sidney Prescott..I mean, Neve Campbell

My choice: Violet Harmon…I mean Taissa Farmiga 

Rochelle – originally portrayed by Rachel True

My choice: Bianca Lawson (I believe she’s a vampire. She never ages.)

Laura Lizzie – originally portrayed by Christine Taylor

My choice: Penelope Mitchell

Chris Hooker – originally portrayed by Skeet Ulrich

My choice: Dylan O’Brien (Are you really surprised?)

(My other choices for this role would be Ezra Miller or Daniel Sharman)

Lirio – originally portrayed by Assumpta Serna

My choice(s) : Eva Green or Natalie Dormer

So what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have other choices in mind?  I’d love to hear about them.

Let’s hope they don’t screw this one up.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the graphics and I don’t claim to.  They are merely used for entertainment purposes. x


For the Silent Mothers

Image credit

Perhaps “silent mothers” is the wrong term to use, but I’m not sure what else to call it.  Quiet? Forgotten? Overlooked?

Whatever it is, I am one of them.  Mother’s Day is always hard for me because I feel cheated.  I should have a little one who brings me cards and gives me kisses on Mother’s Day, but I don’t.  It’s something not a lot of people know about me, but after almost 10 years, I think it’s time to come clean and not be afraid to talk about it anymore.

Sometimes I believe it’s better it worked out the way it did because me and the father never would have worked as a couple.  He was an okay guy, but he wasn’t the man for me.  I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever find ‘the one’ because I always get screwed over, but the last break-up..with him..was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced and I promised myself I’d never go through anything like that again.

Kind of like a miscarriage.

When I was found out I was pregnant I was scared and excited at the same time.  I was scared because I was only 20 years old.  Sometimes I get that mixed up.  Sometimes I think I was 20, other times I think I was 21…but I was definitely 20 when it happened.  Geez, it’s such a blur that I honestly can’t tell you half of what went on when I realized I was losing my baby.

It makes you angry.  It makes you question God and what he’s doing.  Why would he let me get my hopes up, fill my heart with love in anticipation of becoming a mother only to take it away from me?

What’s the point of going through the pains of labor if I don’t get to take a baby home with me?

It still brings tears to my eyes.  i still cry about it.  I dream about my baby sometimes, too.

Some people say that it doesn’t count if you miscarry early in pregnancy, but trust me, it does.  It still guts you and shreds you in a way that is beyond comprehension.  There is a pain that no one can possibly understand unless they have been through it, too.

When the doctor told me I was losing my baby, I held my stomach and cried.  I never got to experience that first ultrasound.  I never got to hear a heartbeat.  I never got to feel a tiny kick or paint a nursery.

But I did imagine how wonderful life would be with a child that had my eyes or my smile.  I thought about names and I had my heart set on Cameron for a boy and…well, I never came up with a girl name because I was confident I was having a boy.

My baby was going to arrive on September 9th, 2006.  He would have been born only a few short months before I turned 21.  I had already determined that even if the father didn’t want to be in my baby’s life, I’d be okay.  My family, well, the ones I was allowed to tell at that time, would help me.

My mother bought me maternity clothes.

I never got to wear them.

You just can’t understand this pain if you’ve never been through it.  I swear.  The tears randomly fall and the empty ache in your heart never goes away.

I feel robbed.  It’s not fair.

I would have been a good mom.  I would have done anything for my child.

I wanted to read him bedtime stories.  I wanted to take him to the park.  I wanted to teach him to ride a bicycle and I wanted his little paintings on my fridge.

But I never got it.

I haven’t tried since then.  I haven’t even been in a relationship because it scarred me in such a terribly profound way.

Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day of celebration for ALL mothers, but some of us get forgotten.  We are the ones who bow our heads and silently weep for children we never had a chance to hold.  We don’t get cards.  We don’t get flowers.

I did receive a card on the first Mother’s Day after my miscarriage and I still have it.  It was from my sister-in-law.  She said that all mothers needed to be celebrated and I still counted as one.

I’ll never forget that.

But it’s hard for this day to roll around, to see people posting pictures with their children, especially those who are around the age of what my child would have been.

8.  My child would be 8 right now.

I am so far off track from what I originally wanted to say.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the silent mothers.  To the ones who grieve the loss of an angel baby.  You are still a mommy, and trust me when I say your baby is waiting for you.  You’ll see them again one day.

But until then, know that I am thinking of you.  Know that you are not alone.  Your hurt is my hurt as mine is yours.  Like I said, no one can understand it unless they’ve been through it and it is not something I’d wish on anyone.

Happy Mother’s Day <3


IABB T-shirt offers May 9th

As most of you know I have been helping out over at IABB and we have been creating some pretty amazing t-shirts for our followers.  I decided it would be easier to make a list here so you can find ALL of them!  We’ve received so many compliments and thank you to everyone for taking a chance on them.  It’s seriously appreciated and it is really neat to see all the pics you’ve been taking once they arrive.  Most of these come in various colors so hopefully you’ll find something that suits you.  xx










Check out this GIVEAWAY for a chance to win one signed by over 60 authors and cover models.








My “how-to” guide of being an indie author

I am creating this blog post in hopes of helping out new authors and perhaps even veteran authors if they haven’t dabbled too much in social media. I’ve made similar posts in the past, but this one is brand new and I’ll try to make it more step-by-step.

Create an author page

The first thing you’re going to want to do if you get into the business of being an indie author is to create an author page. This is very easy to do and you can find more instructions on creating a page HERE.

Invite other authors and readers to like your page

The first piece of advice I can give you –and it’s seriously heartfelt, I swear— please do not friend authors just to post this note to their wall: Hey! Come like my page please!  That will seriously ruin the moment. If you’re going to friend authors, be kind and courteous. Say hello. Ask how they are. Get to know them. Don’t bombard them with a request to like your page because some of them really don’t like that and feel a little used when it happens. Instead, find book blog pages and ask them to share your author link. I also recommend including what genre you write and if you have any books available.

Get people involved

I’m going back to the page thing here and messaging book blogs. A lot of book blogs will make posts asking for new-to-me authors. This is a great opportunity. Jump on it! Just leave a comment with your page link and what genre you write. The readers will find you. Also be sure to message another blog or two with your author page and kindly ask them to share it for you. Please and thank you go a long way in this business.

So you need to know how to create an event?

Here is another helpful link to check out. Once you’ve created your event, don’t be afraid to invite reader friends. If you’re too shy, bring on another host, someone you trust, and let them invite people. Friends will invite friends and it’ll go from there.

You’re ready to publish your book, or you already have. Now what?

Some authors say writing the book is the hardest part, or maybe it’s the editing, but to me the hardest part is promoting it. It can be difficult to get your book noticed, but please remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect the book sales to roll in over night. You’ll have to work for it. Message blogs (remember please and thank you) and give them your links with a teaser. My best advice is to have a C&P document pulled up so you can grab the links and share them when you need to. It’s SO MUCH easier. I promise.

If you need images for teasers, I recommend It’s my favorite.

You want a street team, huh?

Street teams are amazing and so wonderful in my opinion.  They aren’t all nightmares. I love my girls.  If you want to make a street team then please have a look at this link.  There are many, many helpful links. Consult Google.  He is your best friend. Promise.

You’re interested in doing a takeover? Okay.

There are a lot of book blogs that offer for authors to do takeovers on their pages. You can message blogs and ask them if they do takeovers in which case this is what happens:

A date is scheduled in which you will go on their blog, maybe an hour, maybe an entire day, as an admin which means you can post under their blog name. This is great opportunity to tell people about you and what you write. Post your book links, teasers, and talk about YOU. Readers love getting to know authors. Play games with them, give away some prizes (ebooks, bookmarks, gift cards, etc). If you’re anything like me, money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s hard to offer a lot of things other than ebook copies most of the time. I would seriously suggest considering a mobi or epub file of your books to send directly to their kindle.

Learn how to create mobi or epub files HERE, and learn how to send directly to kindles HERE.

I sincerely hope I’ve helped a little, and if I missed anything please feel free to leave input in the comments.

Good luck, authors. Happy writing. xx