What I Know about Life

18 Aug

So, I’m feeling melancholy today with all the back to school craziness, and this post doesn’t have anything at all to do with writing or my books.  It has to do with life.  And how it passes with increasing speed each year.

One of my favorite quotes is from Robert Frost:  “In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life:  It goes on.”   How true is that?   Loved ones die?  Life goes on.  Disaster?  Heartache?   Life goes on.

But I think sometimes we forget that on a daily basis…. as we scramble to get up at 6am and get our kids ready for school on time, as we scurry to pick them up and shuttle them to practices and rehearsals and games.   Life goes on, every second— and every second is one you’ll never get back.

My daughter Bella started middle school this year.  Middle School!!!  A minute ago, she was two years old and my shadow.  She wanted to be with me all the time, and was the sweetest thing in the world. I called her Ellie-Bellie and she was scared of monsters under her bed.  And now.  Middle school.   She doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore or let me do her hair.  (But she’s still scared of monsters under her bed…)

Then:

Ella on slide2003

Now:

Elle on way to school, 6th grade

My son Tristan is 16.  When he was born, he was 6 lbs and 20 inches long.  Now, he’s 6’3″ and 210 lbs.  And he’s not done growing.  I used to call him Tristie, and he collected bugs in his little bug box and liked to feed the ducks.  He was also scared of monsters, so my husband used to search them out before bed with his cell phone as his “monster detector.”  Now, Tristan is a Tight End on his football team and is stronger than I ever thought about being.  Seriously.  He can easily beat me arm wrestling with one hand, while I use two.  He’s no longer scared of monsters.  In fact, when we watch horror movies, he laughs while I look at the screen through my fingers.

He’s funny- and makes me laugh on a daily basis… and I’m always wondering… when the heck did he grow up so much?

Tristan (and me) then:

Mom and Tristan reading book

Now:

Tristan sailing

OMG, I love my kids.  I love all the stages, even the moody ones.  I love how they change every day.  I love looking at my daughter and seeing how pretty and smart she is, and thinking, OMG, I MADE that.   And looking UP at my son, and watching how strong and fast and funny he is, and thinking I MADE that.  It’s a miracle and a blessing and they’re mine.

But life goes on.

And every day that passes is one closer to the day that they’ll each leave my house.  They’ll go to college where instead of eating food cooked by me, food that I know is organic and nutritious, and they’ll grab trays and eat in a cafeteria or pop popcorn in their dorm microwave.  They’ll do things everyday that I won’t be there to hear about, except for over the phone.

Sometimes it makes me sad and panicky, but above all, it makes me proud.  I’m growing them up to be strong and proud and independent.  And while they’re mine, they’re also the world’s, and I have full confidence that they will CHANGE the world.  I don’t know what they’ll grow up to be.  A brain surgeon?  A Navy Seal?  An Ambassador?

All I know is…. I’m doing my best to raise them right.  To teach them right from wrong.  To teach them to cook, and sew on a button, and stand up for themselves and be graceful and kind.  And because of these things, they’ll grow up to change the world in some way.  They’ll grow up to change THEIR world.  I’m doing my best to team them not to let the world change THEM.

Gah.  It makes my throat tighten up and my eyes water, and I’m not a crier.  But our kids have that power over us.  They truly are our hearts walking around outside of our bodies.  And that’s fine.  Someone’s gotta have my heart– it might as well be them.

My point here is…. we need to remember, in the middle of all of these busy, loud, giggling, hectic, chaotic days…. that life goes on.  We’ve got to cherish each day… when we’re picking up their dirty clothes for the millionth time, or struggling to hear a phone call with them yelling in the background, or breaking your favorite vase during a rowdy game of indoor football, or muddy prints across your clean floor, or “Hey mom, I need six styrofoam cones for school tomorrow” when it’s 11pm the night before.  During all of this, remember that life goes on.

So we meed to embrace today, and love it while it’s here.  And don’t blink.  If you do, you’ll miss something.

T carrying Elle

T and Elle Sears Tower Skydeck

A Birthday Celebration!

18 Aug

So, my birthday is on August 28th.  I’ll be celebrating a few things.

One, I’ll be turning 39, so I’ll be celebrating the start of the last of my 30’s.   I’ll also be celebrating the re-release of my debut novel, GUARDIAN…which is a big deal to me.

GUARDIAN was my first book.  It was the thing, the cathartic thing, that kept me from drowning in grief after my dad died.  It was also the pivotal thing that pulled me into the writing world and changed my life forever.

To celebrate these things, I’ll be throwing a virtual party on my birthday.

Guardian 10 Days

GUARDIAN will be re-released.  On release day, my birthday, it will be $.99 for digital copies for that one day only.

Also, for that one day only, the following books of mine (which are some of my favorites) will be on sale for $.99:

Dante’s Girl (Book 1 of The Paradise Diaries)

The Minaldi Legacy 

Confessions of an Alli Cat  (Book 1 of the Cougar Chronicles) 

Soul Kissed (Book 1 of The Moonstone Saga) 

If you watch my books at all, then you’ll know this is a big deal, because my books are seldom on sale.

Anyway, I hope you’re all having a great day. As for me, I’m just gonna be over here… counting down the days til my birthday.  Have a great week!

Cover for Guardian!

30 Jul

Happy Wednesday, guys!

Today’s the day to reveal the cover for Guardian!  Woohooo!

In case you missed it the other day, Guardian was my debut book several years ago. I recently acquired the rights back, and since it didn’t get much exposure back when it originally released, we’re re-releasing it.   It’s a YA Paranormal Romance— and it’s undergoing new editing, and a brand-new cover.

Without further ado, here it is:

Guardian revised cover

The ever-talented, always-awesome Matt from The Cover Lure produced this awesomeness.

About Guardian:

                                                            Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real. 

My name is Whitney Lane.  I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think.  There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t.  I don’t know what to think anymore.  I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

***

Guardian is near to my heart because it was my first book.  My catharsis, my therapeutic healing after my father died.  It re-releases on August 28th, which is my birthday, and it will be $.99 for release day only.  I hope you love it!

 

Announcement of a New (sort-of) Release: GUARDIAN

22 Jul

Happy Tuesday, guys!

So, I’ve got an announcement to make!

A few years back, I published my debut novel with a small publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.  At the time, I was elated.  So, so, so excited to be published, because ohmygosh it was my dream.  :)

However, I was a brand new author, and my book didn’t receive much marketing support… so actually, most people don’t even know that I wrote it at all.  Lol.

That’s where the good news comes in.

I recently acquired those rights back from the publisher, and I’ll be re-releasing my debut book on August 28! !

I’m SO excited about this.

GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance.   I wrote it right after my dad died, and it was a catalyst for me… it’s the thing that made me strive to become a full-time author.

The story is close to my heart and the book is sentimental to me because it was the gateway for me into the book-world.  It’s where I began my journey.  It’s also the thing that helped heal me after my dad died.

I’m re-editing it right now, and it will receive a brand new cover, and a brand new book birthday.  I’m gong to treat it as a new release, because it practically will be.  I’m changing the story around, and not many people read the original story anyway.  haha.

I really really hope you’re going to love it.

I’m going to release it on my birthday, August 28th, as a celebration.  A celebration of my birthday, of Guardian’s re-release, of my metamorphosis into the author that I am today….as a celebration of all of it.

Stay tuned— we’re releasing the cover and the book description on Wednesday, July 30th.  I can’t wait!!!

Until We Fly is here (Worldwide!)!!

6 Jul

Until We Fly is now live!!!  And it’s live around the world… not just in the US.  Woohoooo!

 

Countdown pics, available now

 

Are you ready to get Branded???

Check out this excerpt told from Nora’s point of view as she gives Brand a sponge bath…and while you read, keep in mind that I imagine Brand as looking like this:

Brand, Chris Hemsworth on motorcycle

 

“Being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid, Nora,” Brand tells me, lifting his ocean blue eyes to meet mine. “It means being afraid and doing it anyway.”

“Doing it?” I ask.

Brand shrugs. “It can be anything. Whatever it is that you’re doing, whatever it is that you’re afraid of.”

I’m doing this. Right now.

Because I want him. I want him this summer and he’s not getting it. He’s not making any moves even though I’m here and I’m available, and I want him. There’s only one way to make him see… I have to be as blunt as a man.

I can do this.

Because I’m brave.

I’m brave.

I’m brave.

I’m fucking brave.

I re-wet my cloth and without a word of warning, I pull the corner of his towel back, then pull it entirely off.

Brand’s eyes fly open, then fix on my face. He doesn’t say a word, but I can see him holding his breath. His flat abdomen isn’t moving.

I dip the cloth down his side, over the rippled muscle. I can feel him through the cloth, his warmth soaking into my fingers.

I pass his hip, his delicious, sexy hip. In my head, I envision it flexing as he straddles me. I flush, and gulp.

I’m brave.

I’m fucking brave.

I take a breath, and my fingers keep moving. Another breath and the cloth glides downward.

Then Brand’s hand covers my own, stopping me.

“I think I can get that part.”

I look down at him, and he’s staring at me in apprehension….because he doesn’t know what I’m doing… or what I want. I don’t know either. All I know is….I’m doing it now. Before it’s too late and he’s out of my life and I never have another chance.

“Brand, I have a proposition to make.”

My words cut the slice through the tension.

He levels a gaze at me, his eyes so fucking blue. “I’m listening.”

His hand is still covering mine. It’s warm and strong and I can hear the pulse rushing through my ears in a roar.

“I’ve wanted you since I was twelve years old. You’re here for the summer and so am I. I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again and I don’t want to look up from my desk at Greene Corp when I’m seventy and have regrets because I didn’t do this.”

I pause and Brand doesn’t say anything.

He simply waits.

The silence between us is charged and I rush my next words…I let them tumble from my mouth before I lose the nerve.

“I want you. Without any strings at all. At the end of the summer, we’ll probably never see each other again…but I want this summer.   With you.”

I have to know what’s its like.

I stand on a wall and protect what is mine.

I need to know, even if it’s just an illusion, what it’s like to be his.

To be safe.

To be good.

Please.

Brand stares at me, stunned.

I’m stunned too.

I did it.

I did it.

I’m fucking brave.

I watch his lips slowly part as he breathes out in a rush.

I watch his tongue dart out and lick his lower lip.

I feel the heat from his hand as he slightly moves it.

Then I watch the word form on his mouth…right before he says it.

“No.”

 ***

To read more… to find out Nora’s reaction, and how she manages to convince Brand… you can find UNTIL WE FLY at the following retailers:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble 

iTunes  (Will update with the iTunes link when it’s live)

 

 

Excerpts from UNTIL WE FLY!

2 Jul

Until We Fly

You guys,

Until We Fly releases next week!!!  *jumps up and down, spins in a circle, then collapses*

Teasers, velvety skin

 

For the next five days, we’re releasing an excerpt in five segments…starting today!

5 excerpts banner

June 2:  Hypable.com

July 3:   Vilma’s Book Blog

July 4:   Schmexy Girls’ Book Blog

July 5:  The Autumn Review

July 6: Natasha is a Book Junkie

 

Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good.

 

A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. .

The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart.

 

So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on.  And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore.

 

Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again.  It’s not worth the pain.  Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof.

 

But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from.  A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain.  Reasons he tried hard to forget.

 

But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again.

 

Why?  Because home is where Nora Greene is.  A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past.  A beautiful, feisty thing.  When Brand left, she was away at boarding school.

 

But she’s back now.

 

And she wants Brand, scars and all.

 

Brand is one of my favorite characters that I’ve written to date.  He’s strong, powerful, real, sexy….gah.  He’s just… Brand.  So come on…. Get BRANDed.  You know you want to!  :)

 

Tattoo winner!

2 Jul

Okay, guys…

I’m sorry that I’m late with this.   And wow– there were tons of entries… I had no idea you guys were so passionate about your tattoos!  I got entries via blog comments, FB, Twitter and tons flooded my inbox.

It’s from my inbox that I had to pick the winner.

Not because her tattoo was better than anyone else’s, because each one of you has an amazing story for your tattoos.  I mean, seriously amazing.  You guys inspire me.

The winning submission came from Anna O.  It’s a replica of the tattoo her great-grandma had tattooed on her arm… from her time spent in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Your story was so inspiring, Anna, and what an amazing tribute to your great-grandmother.  Thank you for sharing your story with me.  Please email me (courtneycolecontests@gmail.com) with your mailing address.

Thank you,everyone, for your awesome stories!!

XOXO,

Courtney

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