Saturday, 13 July 2019

DICK (The Private Dick series Book 1)blog tour

Bourbon, beads, and blood.

Phuck is the king of New Orleans. A demon who offers immortality for loyalty and respect. As president of the Voodoo Dawgs MC, he’s become as iconic to Nawlins’ citizens as the French Quarter. With Voodoo Mama and his brothers at his side, he’s untouchable, his power limitless. But when one of his demon brothers is discovered murdered, his life is about to be shaken up in ways he could’ve never anticipated.

Enzo is a sheriff, a shifter with a badge, who’s lost his power and the respect of the citizens of New Orleans. Betrayed by those he trusted, he’s fallen into disgrace, unable to remain sober long enough to pull himself together. When one of Phuck’s men is found dead, Enzo calls in the big guns to help solve the murder.

Panther shifter Detective Natalia Cortes arrives to investigate a demonic killing in NOLA. It’s not just any homicide, but the murder of a demon who happens to be part of the Voodoo Dawgs MC. The self-appointed King of New Orleans doesn’t want her there, but she feels his heated gaze. The sheriff needs her help to solve the case, but the more time he spends with her, the more he wants to claim her as his mate.

Welcome to the Dark Days and Voodoo Nights of New Orleans!

When I found out that Gracen Miller was releasing a new book, I knew I had to get my hands on it.  She's become one of my favorite go to authors.  She never disappoints. 
Dick is a great story filled with action, romance, and fantastic sex scenes.  The characters a relatable and emotional.
Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down.
Another five star story from an amazing author and her partner in crime. I'll definitely be looking into Julie Morgan and reading more of her stories. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

It's been a year, so here's a short story!

Well, it's been a year since I've posted anything and I thought, what the hell, let's give the people something to read.  lol   This October, I was going to enter a short story in a contest.  As life likes to do, it happened, and the story was never submitted.  It did, however, give me the idea for a longer story, but it's going to be a while before that one gets done.  So, here you are.  I had to keep the story to under 2500 words, and let me tell you, that was hard to do. 

Commander Cheryl

“Cheryl.  I’m just checking in to let you know I’m on my way back.  They’re thick out here today.”
All I hear is dead space in my headset. My throat tightens and the adrenaline surge threatens to choke me. It's flight or fight time.  The problem is that we're fighting an enemy that can kill us with a look.  And running? It's hard to outrun everyone you've ever known, almost each and every person you've met or will ever meet.
“Cheryl?  Come in!”
The thought of my cousin hurt, or worse, makes the bile in my stomach rise and I swallow it back down with a gag.
A faint crackle in my ears has my heart flipping in my chest.
“Mi… safe…. South… go…"
“What? You're breaking up. Repeat!”
I duck involuntarily as something to the north explodes. Was that us, or them? I glance around what’s left of the mall I’m standing in.  The roof has collapsed and rubble lays scattered throughout, some of it wet from rain and damaged water pipes, a lot of them red with blood. A quiet sob makes its way to me. The butterflies in my stomach start to crash into each other.
Is it a trap?
A small girl, her red dress muddied and torn, limps past my hiding place. I wince at the blood scabbed to the side of her face.  I’m just about to step out and ask if she's okay when she snaps her fingers.
I stop breathing. Fire Thrower.  Why the hell couldn’t I have got a cool power like that? But, no. I got speed which would be all fine and dandy if Fire Throwers, Lightning Makers, and pretty much every other power out there couldn’t be thrown at me almost as fast as I could run.
A small group of military looking guys sneak in through a hole in the Knickknacks store’s outer wall.
The Fire Thrower turns and unleashes fireball after fireball. One, maybe two of them, are Shields.  One soldier screams as a fireball punches into him, the heat of the flames burning through him.
“Mi…. Help…” Cheryl's voice is still cutting out. Help who? Her? The soldiers? Cheryl's power has a distance limit. Sending her thoughts through radio waves is pretty neat, but if she’s too far away or too tired, she's out of luck. I’m not sure what’s causing the disruption at this very moment, but I’m hoping it’s just distance.
I take a deep breath and roll my shoulders.  Cheryl or no Cheryl, it’s easy to see the soldiers aren’t government zombies and the kid is. She walks past me again, getting closer to the guys. Her attention diverted, I use what I’ve been given and run. It happens fast. So fast. I still feel every millisecond of it. The thickness of her bloody hair, the coolness of her forehead, the dry crust of the scab on her temple. The warmth of the knife in my hand, the slight hesitation of the blade as I pushed it through her neck… the heat of her blood spilling over my fingers. The smell of iron overtakes everything.
My stomach heaves and the little bit of oatmeal I had for breakfast comes rushing back up. Someone hands me a bottle of water. I spit out as many chunks as I can before pouring water over my head and into my mouth.
“Fucking zombies.” I’m trying to convince myself I’m still a good person, that it was us or her, but I’m having trouble talking myself into it.  I just killed a kid. I resist the urge to look back and instead look at the soldier who handed me the water.
“You okay?”  The only thing I can tell about him is that he's a man. These guys are covered from head to toe in gear designed to try and keep them alive. Obviously, it doesn't always work.
“Yeah. I’m good. Did Cheryl send you?”
He nods. “We were doing a sweep and she asked us to check on you.”
“Thanks.” It’s definitely a bonus that my cousin was the voice of the Asskickers. I can’t help the laughter as I think of the resistance’s name. It had been an inside joke between Cheryl and I. Somehow it had spread and stuck.
The soldiers all look at me, but I can't tell if it’s in amusement or worry. I manage to pull myself together.
“Where is she?” I inquire after clearing my throat.
“They’ve set up camp just south of the city.”
Water bottle guy extends his hand out to me and I let him help me up.
“Thanks for that.” His gratitude might have been followed by a smile, but it’s hard to tell behind the mask and goggles. “I’m not sure how much more my shield would have taken.”
“Mi…” Cheryl interrupted us.
“I’m okay, Cheryl.”
“Package acquired, ma’am.  On our way back.” The other shield in the group gestures with his head and we follow behind him.
I chuckle and Water Bottle gives a quick glance in my direction.
“She hates being called ma’am.”
He nods to show he's heard.
It’s been a long five days of scouting and I don’t argue when Shield One announces we'll be stopping for the break.  I move ahead and come back before Mouse (the quiet one who has yet to talk) notices. He jumps as I reappear beside him.
“There's a gas station one block ahead,” I whisper to them.
Water Bottle nods when Shield One looks at him. Mouse does the same. Hard gloved fingers dig into my arm as I start to walk past One.
“No more lone runner shit,“ he growls.
I yank free of his hold. “Lone runner shit is my job.”
“And my job is to get you back to Commander Cheryl. “
I scoff, ready to get into it with Captain Better than Thou, but Water Bottle steps between us. Inhaling deeply, I count to ten.  Without a word, I dart back to gas station.
When the guys show up, I’m laying on my blankets and eating a disgusting protein bar. I don’t have to see One's face to know he's pissed. His head turns towards me and this time, Water Bottle has to physically push him back.  
I toss One a protein bar and it hits his shoulder before falling to the ground, ignored. He shoves Water Bottle away before stalking off to the back of the store.
“Is he always wound so tight?” I inquire when the second shield sits beside me.
“We lost four guys this time out.”
He doesn’t need to say anything else. Watching someone you’ve gotten to know get killed was something you didn’t get over. It was why I did my scouting alone. I’d already lost too many friends.
“So, what did you do before all this, Water Bottle?”
“Water Bottle?”
“Yeah. You're Water Bottle, that's Shield One, and that guy is Mouse.”
“Why Mouse?”
“He’s quiet. You know… quiet as a mouse?”
Water Bottle chuckles, pulling off his head gear so he can eat the bar I hand him.
“My name's Rhett and I used to be a roofer.” He wipes the sweat from his brow.
I dig deep into my pack to find a few of the bite sized chocolate bars I keep for special occasions.  I hand one to him. “Nice to meet you, Rhett.  I’m Mi.”
Turning to the back of the store, I toss a chocolate over the counter. “Incoming, Shield One!”
There's a short pause then the sound of a wrapper crinkling.  “Ross.”
Glad he's taken my peace offering, I turn to Mouse.  
“What the…” Before anyone can react, I have my hands around the third man's neck. Using my momentum, I manage to get him up against the wall. Somewhere in the back of my mind I tell myself I’m about to die. I have no idea what his power is.
“Mi!” Rhett manages to pull me off, but I slip out of his hold and smash Mouse's head into the wall once again.
“You! You did this!” I can barely choke the words out past the sobs the anger and shock are causing.
It takes both Rhett and Ross to get me off. Ross shoves me toward Rhett who gets me in a bear hug I can't get out of. I try to use my knee to kick Rhett in the groin, but I don't have enough room to do any damage.
“It's alright. Let her go.”
Even the sound of his voice is enough to reactivate the fury that had been waning.  
“I'm going to let you go, but don’t do anything stupid.” Rhett slowly releases his hold and I wait until I have enough room to turn before charging again. I hit an invisible force and hear him sigh behind me before he reaches down to help me up. “I'm not letting it down until you get a hold of yourself.”
The urge to kill is still prevalent, but one collision with an invisible force is enough to let me know I don’t want to do it again.
I turn to Mouse and jerk away when Rhett puts a hand on my shoulder. All I can see is the traitor before me. The man who thought he could play god. The piece of shit who poisoned the drinking water with the virus that triggered everyone's powers. He was the reason my family was dead. He was the reason some of us were walking around like zombies with only the urge to kill on their minds. We’d been the testing subjects for what was supposed to be the new and improved soldier.  What the government hadn’t counted on was the fact that the people who turned zombielike couldn’t be controlled and those of us who still had our wits about us weren’t going to be used in their sick game.
“You’re supposed to be at the bottom of a lake!”
“It was decided that letting me live was a far worse punishment.”
In a moment of pure childishness, my brain changed his name from Mouse to Shitface.
“I’m doing what I can to right what I did wrong.”
“By helping those that need it.”
I look at Ross before glancing back to Rhett. Both of them nod.
“I’m hoping that soon, this will all feel like a bad dream.”
I scoff and turn to Rhett. “Let me out. I am not staying here.”
“You can’t just head out there on your own.  It’s going to be dark within the hour.”
I walk past him, my arms out in front of me.  My fingers touch the shield.  “I need some air.” It’s just a whisper, but he takes my arm and escorts me outside.
“What’s that?”
I look up and try to find what he’s pointing to in the sky.  “Wait. Is that a plane?” The city has been a no-fly zone for months.  I press the talk button on my coms.  “Cheryl. Come in.”
“Hey! Are you guys almost back?”
“Not Quite.  Do me a favor and look up and to the west.”
There’s a short pause as she does what I ask.  “Is that a plane?”  More silence as she talks to those physically around her.
Rhett and I are joined by Ross as everyone’s coms receive some muffled voices under a wave of static.
Cheryl’s cutting in on the plane’s transmission and letting everyone hear what she’s hearing.  It’s one of the things the Asskickers love about her.  There are no secrets.
“… Doctor Banks wasn’t lying, Senator. It’s a warzone down there.”
“Understood. Come back to base.  Operation Earthworm starts at oh six hundred.  We need…”  Whatever else was going to be said is lost as Cheryl cuts off the signal.
I sprint back into the gas station, thankful Rhett had dropped his shield.  “I don’t think so!”  I throw myself at Banks and he drops to the ground.  “You lying piece of shit! You’ve been here spying on us!”
“Mi, I know you’re losing it right now, but we need him alive.” Somehow, my cousin’s voice penetrates through the red haze I’m in. 
A hand touches my shoulder and I turn, still swinging.  Instead of hitting flesh or even a solid shield, my arm seems to get sucked into extra thick jelly. 
“It’s just me.” Rhett’s eyes meet mine and he lets his shield down completely to release my limb.
All of us fall to our knees as Cheryl’s voice explodes in our heads.  “EVERYONE BACK TO BASE!”  Her apology is softer, but we all understand.  That message was meant to carry to every one of us still out in the city.
“Where are they picking you up?”  Ross yanks Banks’ head back by the hair. The doctor’s face is a bloody mess and I don’t feel any regret.
“I have to go.  Please.  Please let me go.” 
Rhett winds up and kicks him in the gut.  I’m about to do the same when a distant explosion makes me pause.
Banks starts to sob.  “It’s… it’s too late…”
Ross lets go of him and we watch as the grown man curls into a ball and gives up.
“It doesn’t sound like we have until morning.” 
“Can you make it back?”
I shake my head then remember she can’t see me.  “No.”
Three more explosions go off, each one closer than the last.  I climb up onto the roof of the store.  Rhett and Ross settle beside me on the edge.
“Looks like they had a plan in case their shit show didn’t go well.  Cheryl, they’re blowing it up from under ground. “
A few scattered people climb up to see how they’re going to die.  Strangely, the only one who seems to be panicking is Doctor Banks.  Or, maybe not strangely.  Somewhere in the back of our minds, we all knew this day was a possibility.
In the news tomorrow, people will have their coffee and toast and talk to each other how horrible that something like this could happen. And I have no idea what they’ll blame it on… a terrorist attack? A sink hole? One hell of a gas leak explosion?  Who knows.   Well, maybe Banks knows.
“Hey, cuz?”
“Yeah.  I’m still here.”
“I’m glad we both made it until now.”
“Me too.  Mi?”
“Love you.”
I can hear her voice tighten and I have to clear my throat before I tell her I feel the same.
The underground charges are going off in precise lines and the city is dropping in an eerily beautiful wave.
One of the blasts shakes the gas station and I close my eyes.  The next set will be ours.  Ross and Rhett put their arms around me.  The rumble starts far to our left and I take one last deep breath. I think of Bank beneath us soaked in blood and tears and I smile.
“Goodbye, Cheryl.”

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Weird Dreams: episode four

Today's weird dream is brought to you by a granola bar eaten at three in the morning...

I'm at a restaurant with my family. Me, Kyle, the kids, some of our cousins and their kids.  Everyone is eating and talking. I smile.  I love being with my family.  In a dark corner, I notice a man staring at us.  I can't tell what he looks like because he's got a bunny hug on and a baseball hat.  Everything he's wearing is black.  He takes a sip of coffee and his eyes meet mine.  Somehow, I know I'm supposed to go to him.  

I get up, telling Kyle the man is here and I'll be right back.  He tells me to be careful.  No one can see what's happening.  I can tell he's watching me as I get up and head to the bathroom.  A few minutes later, I hear the door open and someone walks in.  

"I'm in here."

The man's footsteps enter the stall next to mine.  "You're sure your family is ready for this?"

I nod even though he can't see me.  "We are."

He hands me a small package from under the divider.  "You have five hours."

I hear him leave and take my time exiting the bathroom with the cell phone sized package tucked in my back pocket.

Kyle exhales the breath he's been holding as I sit back down beside him.  Everyone is looking at me.

"We have five hours."  I pull the package out, taking the elastic off that's holding instructions against it. 

The rules are simple.
1. take the packages to HIM by any means necessary
2. at least two of your team members must be at the final point

The restaurant doors burst open and a group of military guys come running up to us.

"They're coming! We have to go now! Brumby and Stinker will take the kids to a secure location!"  

Everyone gives the kids a quick hug.  

Emery kisses me on the cheek.  "You can do this, mom."

I take a deep breath and watch as the kids grin and run to the tank they get to ride in.  "Let's do it."

We run and get on our bicycles, pedaling down a back alley as fast as we can.  I feel the package slipping out of my pocket and decided to hang it around my neck by the chord it's attached to.  We make it to a tall skyscraper made completely of  windows.

Cheryl, Courtney, and Dwayne Johnson watch as Kyle and I run into the building.

"We'll meet you in the field!" yells Cheryl before pedaling away, the three of them accompanied by three guards.

"Where is it?"  Kyle stops me from getting on the elevator.

"Tenth floor."  

"They'll expect the elevator."

"Yeah."  I head to the stairway and we start to head up.

"Here! We can travel through the vents.  Bucky, give us a boost."

Kyle follows me in and passes me the gun Bucky has given him before pulling the other man up to join us.

The trip through the vents is exhausting and long.  Maybe this was a bad idea.  Maybe we won't have enough time.  In my mind, I've been counting the turns and floors.

"Here.  This is where we need to get out."

We drop into an office and quickly hide behind a large desk.  

A man with green scales for skin pauses and peeks in.

"They beat us here."  Bucky makes sure his safety is off and I do the same.  

Kyle attaches the silencer to his weapon.  "You know what sucks? They blend in.  We don't."

"I have to get to the back office."  I point in the direction I need to go.  The lights go out and I slip on my night vision goggles.  "Thanks god for Sparky."

Kyle grins.  "Let's go."

We manage to slip past a couple of office workers without being detected.  Bucky swings open the back office door .  His gun goes off twice and two bodies drop to the ground.  I kick open a closet door and shoot the manager who was hiding in it.

"It's in here."  I grab the box with the symbol on it that matches the package around my neck.

"Everybody freeze!"  

I see Bucky swing his gun around to take down the threat, but not quickly enough.  The building guard's gun goes off and Bucky falls to the ground.  Kyle grabs a chair and smashes the window open.

"Go, Mi!"  He shoots one guard and drops as he gets hit in the leg.  With a grunt, he throws himself at the men in the doorway.


"Go! Finish this!"  He takes another round in the chest and the last thing I see as I launch myself out of the tenth story window is his body falling to the ground.

I pull my parachute chord, knowing it's not going to do much to slow me down at this height.

"Hang on!"  Sparky groans as he attempts to catch me and I smash him into the asphalt.  "Bucky and Kyle?"

I shake my head and swallow hard.  "Gone."

"Come on."  He squeezes my arm.  "We have to keep going."  He stuffs the box in the big pocket on his pant leg and we take off running.

"We have to get to the field."  I duck into a back alley to get out of view.  Sparky peeks around the corner to make sure we aren't being followed.

"Let's go."  He leads to way until we're laying behind some bushes at the edge of the field.

"Shit."  Cheryl, Courtney, and Dwayne are tied to posts, surrounded by twenty plus enemy soldiers.  All I can think about is shooting each and everyone of them in their scaly green faces.

"Where do we find the package?"

I look through my scope.  "There.  They have it sitting by our team."

"Bastards.  Do they really think we're just going to stroll in there?"

We glance at each other and grin.  Making sure all of our weapons are loaded and ready, we stand and start shooting.

Chaos ensues as the enemy scrambles to recoup from our surprise.  Cheryl manages to get loose and tackles a panicked guard, stealing his weapon and shooting him before joining in the massacre.  Sparky reaches the package and stuffs it into his other leg pocket.  He quickly cuts down Courtney and Dwayne and gives them weapons.  

"Come on!"  I lead the way into the woods, glancing at my watch.  "We have an hour!"

I try not to feel excited.  We have all three packages.  Now, we just have to get it to HIM. 

Cheryl takes a shot to side and falls.  Dwayne covers her and takes three to the back.  He pushes his weapon toward Courtney.  "Go."

Courtney, Sparky, and I dash through the woods breaking out into the open of a parking lot.  We can hear the others behind us.  A quick scan confirms we aren't going to be ambushed and we go crashing through the front doors.

HE is waiting for us, his white suit pristine as HE sits behind a table.  HE stands.  

Sparky and I stumble forward, out of breath, holding out the packages for HIM. HE takes them, opens them, and scrutinizes them.  HIS eyes meet mine and he grins.

"Congratulations.  You've done it."

Gordon Ramsay takes the secret ingredients for the best hot chocolate on earth and heads off into the kitchen to make us some.

The kids come running up to us, excited to taste the treat.

We all turn as the lizard men some strolling into restaurant.  

Sheldon and the others pull off their lizard masks.  "Man, these things are bloody hot."

Everyone laughs and I hand him a glass of water.  Kyle gives me a hug, still wiping the paint from the paint balls off of his sleeve.

"I can't believe you jumped out of that building!"  Bucky grins with a shake of his head.

I burst out laughing, remembering it.  "Me neither!"

"That was kickass!"

We all sit as Gordon comes back with the hot chocolate and the only sound is thirsty slurps.  

"What are you going to make next time?"

He shrugs.  "It's a surprise."

"Can you make a cake?" asks Ashtynn.

Gordon shrugs.  "Is that what all of  you want?"

All the kids nod enthusiastically.  

Sparky stretches his arms over his head.  "I'm sorta glad it's the kids' turn next weekend.  I'm wrecked."

The adults all agree and the teams are picked for the following weekend fun of paintaball mob boss chef adventures.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Last of the Wicked Romancers

Last of the Wicked Romancers
Damien Darkseid

The only person responsible for this fast-approaching tragedy is me, myself, and I. Now I am forced to defend my manhood against a maniac clutching the smallest pieces of his broken heart in both hands. How will I ever explain to everyone I love, especially my wife Melina, that I was fighting over a woman that was not her no matter what the outcome is?

Friday, 17 November 2017

Me: It's Been a While Since my Last Massive Panic Attack... Life: Hold my Beer.

Now, had this been five months ago, I'd have drank that beer and gone to buy another case. But it's not five months ago and I've been sober that long.  (Yay!) I'd be lying if I said it was easy to get here.  Truth be told, the first little while was pure hell.  I was crabby, cranky, rude... well, you get the point.  And while staying sober would be hell on the best of circumstances, I picked summer to do it. 

Yeah.  You know.  Bonfire, sit in the sun, have a beer camping season. Oh.  And then I traveled to Ontario and Quebec to visit all of my family and attend my brother's wedding. 

I spent the first three months avoiding social events and if I found myself at one, I sat away from everyone, usually in a different room. (fun times)

The first three months, I also had zero control over my anxiety.  Though my meds had managed to keep things in check while I was drinking, they did nothing while I detoxed and fought the cravings.

BUT! I pushed through that three month mark and things got easier. I got the anxiety under control and I started becoming the wife/mom/person I had been before I let the alcohol poison my life.  I never could have made it without my support system. (my husband, my family and friends, and my kids)  They're phenomenal.

So, most of you know the story with my oldest son, Anthony.  He got handed a shitty hand when he was born with cerebral palsy with autistic tendencies and epilepsy.  You've seen my twitter, instagram, and facebook posts of seizures, horrible nights, and behavior issues.

As I write this, I'm laying in bed with him and we're watching Rescue Bots. 

But life with Anthony has been life for the past 13, almost 14 years.  Holy shit, he's almost 14 years old!  Anyway, even though we have our stressful moments, it's our normal and we're used to it. (though, he does like to throw us a curve ball every once in a while. lol)

A little while ago, I made the mistake of thinking to myself that things were going great and I forgot to knock on wood.  ALWAYS remember to knock on wood.  Because if there's one thing life knows, it's that if it wants to mess with me, the best way to do it is through my kids.

Since then, I've had to watch my princess go for bloodwork and a renal and bladder ultrasound to see if they could find what is causing her to have multilple infections a year.  She was a trooper and thought it was cool she could see her insides on the tv and thankfully, no abnormalities were found. She's now going to be seeing a pediatrician, though that's not until January. I'm not sure what the next step he'll suggest will be, but like I said, January, so I'm trying to not think about it too much. (yeah right)

Two weeks ago, Emery came home from school, crying because his back hurt.  It turns out he was playing on a play structure at school and fell from five feet up onto his back.  We rubbed him down, let him soak in the tub, and when that seemed to help, we chalked it up to sore muscles from the fall.

A week later, ( a day after Ashtynn's ultrasound) he was still in pain and a trip to the doctor was made.  There, we were told there was a possibility he might have a fracture on one of his vertebrae and he was sent for xrays. 

A few days later, I saw my doctor's number on my phone.  Now, some people might think, oh well, but our doctor only phones us if something comes up in the tests that were taken.  Go for bloodwork, no phone call, you're fine.  Xrays, no phone call, all is good.

So, I took a deep breath and answered the phone, all the while wondering if I was getting news about Ashtynn or Emery. 

It was Emery.

It turns out he doesn't have a fracture on any of his vertebrae.  What he does have is Spina Bifida Occulta.  To my doctor's credit, he assumed I'd heard of Spina Bifida and rushed on to say that it is also called closed Spina Bifida and that it is the mildest form of the condition.  After easing my worry (I'm not going to lie, as soon as he said the name I imaged Emery's spinal chord ripping through his back... even though I knew it was something he'd obviously been born with and has lived with for eleven years with no issues whatsoever) he told me to bring Emery in and he'd explain more of what would happen next.

This morning, we went to the office. Some of Emery's vertebrae did not form properly while he was developing, therefore, he has a space which exposes his spinal chord. Though Emery hasn't had any symptoms (other than his back getting sore much more often then his siblings), there is a possibility that as he grows he could start having problems such as leg pain/ numbness, as well as other things.  He is now being referred to a pediatric specialist in Saskatoon where they will do more scans and decide what our game plan is.  Thankfully, because he doesn't have any symptoms, the chance of surgery is very small (pretty much non-existent) at this time. 

Now, I thought I was handling things well enough.  I did have an hour or so after the appointment where I felt a bit overwhelmed, but that passed and well, life.

It's funny how one tiny thing can set off a panic attack.  All it took for me was to look at my calendar and see I had to take Anthony to his Neurologist on Wednesday. 


I managed to get to my room and hide under the covers before my breathing went to shit and my chest contracted to the point I was sure I was having a heart attack.  I'm not sure how long it went on (it always feels like hours), but I finally remembered to do all my "it's a panic attack, it will pass" exercises.  I'm actually pretty happy with myself, I didn't even take an ativan (evil, tiny pills, they always put me to sleep). 

And even happier with the fact that I didn't even think about having a drink.

So, that's pretty much it.  I've had my meltdown and now it's back to business as usual because, well... this blog wouldn't be called Life and my Retreating Sanity if life was all rainbows and unicorns. :)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Viva Zapata and the Magic Eight Ball

Welcome to Savannah Verte's Thanksgiving Crossword Blog Hop! Let's start with a bit of a feature about her book then the details for the hop! The puzzle is at the bottom of the post for you to print or download!

Viva Zapata & the
Magic 8-Ball (novel)

Women’s Fiction

Sometimes, what happens in Vegas can’t stay in Vegas.

Four women gather in Sin City for a long weekend. Somewhere between the glitzy
casinos and the small-hours-of-the-morning truths, they discover that the game
of life doesn’t play by the house rules.

Three days, one Mexican revolutionary, and one Magic 8-Ball later, the women
realize that with friends by your side, you can play any hand that life
deals…and win.

Savie’s Thanksgiving Bloghop 2017
The answers are
all things from Savannah’s books, things she loves, or qualities/attributes she
The clue for each answer can be
found at the blog listed on the date in November equal to the number. IE: 10
across would be on the 10th, etc. 
***NOTE – on the 1st
& 15th there is more than one blog to visit. They are noted on
the puzzle & highlighted so you can see where the answer goes. Also, Every
5 days, Savannah will be checking in and giving a clue on her website as
well…they are denoted as ‘s’ clues. For those – go to Savannah’s Blog:***

To be entered to win you must pm your
completed crossword to Savannah’s facebook author page ( or email it to her at

The drawing will be held no later than Friday December 8th
& the winner will be contacted.

They then will have 5 days to respond or default & a new winner will be

Ready for my clue: (Do nothing - just relax for a little bit  )

Download the image to work online or print off…submit a photo or file of the completed puzzle by the deadline to enter.


1*1         Down                   Written Love Reviews                                   
1*2         Down                   Musings from an Addicted Reader           
1*3        Across                   Obsessed by Books
s1           Down                    Savannah
2             Down                    Author Migraine Central
3             Across                   Turning the Pages
4             Across                   Booked and Loaded
5             Down                    Karen writes Murder
s5           Down                    Savannah
6             Down                    Dena Garrison- Real… Hot… Romance
7             Across                   Wickedly Innocent Promotions
8             Down                    Clare & Lou’s Mad About Books
9             Across                   Summer’s Smexy Book Reads
10           Down                    Ellie’s Witchy Life
s10         Across                   Savannah
11           Down                    2 Bibliophile’s Guide
12           Down                    Dirty Bad Bloggers
13           Across                   Author Mireille Chester
14           Down                    Twinsie Talk
15*1      Across                   A Naughty Book Love Affair
15*2      Across                   ILoveBooksAndStuff Blog
s15         Down                    Savannah
16           Down                    Little Shop of Readers
17           Across                   SydneyGen Reads
18           Down                    I don’t get Sundays
19           Across                   Triple A
20           Down                    Books 2 Blogs
s20         Across                   Savannah
21           Across                   Those Crazy Book Chicks
22           Across                   I Smell Sheep
23           Across                   Terri Luvs Books
s23         Down                    Savannah
24           Across                   Read Our Thoughts Book Blogs
25           Down                    Eskimo Princess
s25         Down                    Savannah
26           Down                    Author Kassie Lane
27           Across                   A Book Lover’s Emporium
28           Across                   Country Reads
29           Across                   Barbara’s Book Reviews
30           Across                   Savannah

Author Bio:

A lifelong lover of words and reading, Savannah Verte hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to write when she grows up. Born and raised in the upper Midwest, Savannah’s gypsy spirit and never quit attitude keep her busy and seldom idle. For so many reasons, Savannah considers herself a ‘Contemporary Vagabond’ when it comes to writing and hopes that others find her diverse offerings as enjoyable to read as they are to write.

As the primary owner and driving force behind Eclectic Bard Books she considers herself immensely fortunate to see writing from varied perspectives as she endeavors to publish the authors rostered there. Working with other writers, Savannah gets to expand her horizons every day as someone brings a new idea to the table and the brainstorming begins. There is something addictive about the creative process for her and helping other authors embrace their dreams make hers a reality daily.

That’s the official Savannah, the unofficial version is just a girl who loves experiencing life with every twist and turn it takes. When she was born, she had such fine, light hair that her mother used to tape bows to her head so people would know she was a girl. She’s had a host of crazy unrelated jobs- everything from cake decorator, dry cleaner, and insurance agent to Emergency Room assistant, bartender, crime lab tech and bouncer. Savannah loves air hockey but completely sucks at it. She loves good jazz, good scotch, and antiques but also old rock, a quiet tea, and a tidy home. She’s completely technology impaired and can get it after she’s broken the computer or done it ass-backwards a few times… Thank Gods that there are some amazing meme creators that let her pilfer images or she’d be lost. Lime green is her color, the rhinoceros is her logo & philosophy, and she’s completely mad about seeing new authors try.

Follow Savannah on Facebook: or on her webpage My Revolution:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Faerie Dreams Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Blurb book 1 (Free on all sites)

If there’s one thing fifteen-year-old Kate loves, it’s a good book. Her new favorite series, Quallen’s Quest, follows the Faerie prince in the land of Kallaryn as he goes from one adventure to another. When Kate awakens in Prince Quallen’s secret cave, she’s sure she’s dreaming. Events unfold and adventure follows as the handsome prince promises to help her get back. Is she really in Kallaryn and if that’s the case, will she ever be able to get back home?

Buy Links:

Book 2 (only 99cents)

Just when Kate thought she'd never visit Kallaryn again, she finds herself awake in Prince Quallen's cave. This time, she's sure she knows why she's here. Quallen's uncle has targeted Veenata's lake and if they can't get the anti-spell done on time, the water nymph will surely die. It's a race against time to find all the ingredients. While rushing around to save their friend, Kate makes an astonishing discovery about herself. There's a reason she was born a Dreamwalker and it's up to her to save those she cares for.

Buy Links:

Book 3

"If it weren't for me, this wouldn't happen to you."

She snorted. "I'm a Dreamwalker, Quallen. I don't think I was supposed to cross over just to go fishing."

He blinked his deep violet eyes. "You're here on another quest, then?"

She opened her mouth to answer then closed it. "Umm... No."


She smiled. "No."

Quallen grinned. "Did you bring your pole," he inquired.

She shook her head. “I have no idea when I’m going to cross and I think it might look a bit odd if my parents find me sleeping with my fishing rod.”

Quallen turned his back so she could change. “Lucky for you, then, I have a spare.”

When Kate dreamwalks to Kallaryn this time around, it seems like it will be a nice relaxing time and after all of the excitement the last few times she's come to visit, she can't say she minds.

Of course, there never seems to be peace where Quallen is concerned and they are quickly drawn into a rescue mission that could potentially put the prince in danger. Again.

But when Gailt comes to his friends for their help to save his cousin who is about to lose her wings for stealing, there's no way the pair can say no.

Will Quallen manage to cross his uncle once more without getting caught? Will Dakkezy keep her wings? Will Kate ever find a quiet moment to spend with her faerie prince?

Buy Links:

Book 4

Kate's sixteenth birthday has arrived and Nate surprises her with a new book as a present. As usual, the book gives her insight into what is happening in Kallaryn, though this time it seems the story is happening as she reads. Having learned Quallen has been taken prisoner by some of his uncle's men, she decides it's time to see if she can dreamwalk at will. Can she finally convince her brother Kallaryn is real and will they be able to get to the faerie prince before it's too late?

Buy Links:

Author Bio:

Mireille Chester is a fantasy author who likes to spend time in made up worlds filled with magic. She is a firm believer that no hero is perfect and that all villains are burdened with a tiny shred of humanity.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Mireille now resides in the beautiful prairies of Saskatchewan. Wife and mother, she spends most of her time with her three children and husband. When she is not writing stories or grooming dogs, you can find her on the lake fishing with her family.