When Life Doesn’t Hand you a HEA

28 Feb

Back when I wrote IF YOU STAY, I received a lot of e-mail from readers.

Most of it was amazing and inspiring from readers who had also known addiction, or knew of someone who had.

However, some of it was from disgruntled readers who said that my story wasn’t realistic.  That if someone took drugs to disappear into oblivion, then chances are that they were, in fact, addicted and that I was sending out the wrong message of rainbows and butterflies with my book.

If you read my work, you already know that I’m a big believer in Happily-Ever-Afters.  I mean, people read fiction to escape from reality.  Why in the world would I want to depress them with a book that ended in any way other than happily?

When I wrote IF YOU STAY, that was the reality of my “Pax”.  He wasn’t an addict at that time.

Unlike fiction though, life continues to evolve and change.  A book, after it ends, won’t stray from the final storyline.  That HEA will remain for all of eternity.

Life, however, does change. And sometimes, the changes aren’t for the better.

I’ve always said that I wouldn’t reveal who I based Pax Tate on.  He didn’t want me to, and so I won’t.  I never will.  Readers have guessed that it was my husband, but I can tell you that it is not.  It is someone else that I love, someone very close to me.  

And unfortunately, he has descended into the world of addiction.

At first, like Pax Tate, he was a user, not an addict.  He wanted to disappear into oblivion, into a place where he didn’t care about anything.  He realized what he was doing and I sent him to rehab to be on the safe side.  All seemed to be fine.

But  he started using again and this time, the outcome hasn’t been good.  He’s throughly addicted.  If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that I haven’t been online a lot.  I’ve been preoccupied with this horrible issue.  When I am online, I usually act normally, because that is my coping mechanism.  I’m a very private person and I don’t tend to advertise my private life.

However, I do have some things that I want to say.

I’m writing this so 1) you know why I’ve been fairly absent online, 2) to address reader concerns that I wasn’t depicting reality with my storyline in IF YOU STAY and 3)  to flip the bird at addiction itself.  

I’m here to tell you that anyone can be an addict.  It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black or purple, if you’re rich, poor, or middle-class.  Addiction knows no discrimination and it knows no bounds.

We live in a world where high schoolers are offered Ecstasy in the hallways for $10 a pill and where they can get heroin as easily as they can get sweet-tarts.  It’s sickening, saddening, and devastating, and it is the reality of our day and age.

However, THIS is our reality too:

The human spirit is created to thrive, to fight and to eventually overcome.  We’re all born with an innate sense to fight to survive, to fight what oppresses us, to come out on top, and to be healthy, happy, and strong.

SO EFF YOU, ADDICTION.

With today’s support networks, groups, medications, doctors and therapies, WE CAN BEAT YOU.  Anyone who is addicted to a substance and wants to fight it, can.  Anyone who wants to fight it can WIN.  All they have to do is set their mind to it, be strong and fight it.

Will it be easy?

Hell no.

Is it worth it?

Hell YES.

All of us, every one of us, deserves to be happy, healthy and strong.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask for your prayer.  I’m a huge believer in prayer, and I believe that the more people who pray for one thing, the better.  The more voices, the better God can hear.  

Can you please say a prayer for my “Pax”?  He desperately needs prayer if he’s going to beat addiction.  He’s strong, but addiction can level the strongest person.  In order to beat it, you have to be strong, determined and have God’s help.

If you can pray for him, for God’s help, I’d be eternally grateful.

In closing, let me just say that the fictional Pax Tate will forever have his Happy Ending. He is happy and strong, and living a perfect life with his wife Mila.

My real-life Pax might be struggling now, in the most difficult struggle of his life, but I have full faith that he will come through it. He will overcome it.  That’s what human beings are designed to do.

No matter how hard or difficult something seems at any one time, always know that a Happily-Ever-After is always possible, whether it is “REALISTIC” or not.  The power to change lies within us, and no one else.

If you are a reader who contacted me about IF YOU STAY not ending in a realistic way, please know that I heard you and I respect your concerns.  I still stand behind my notion that not all users are addicts, but I do fully believe that if a user continues to use, he/she will eventually become addicted.  Just as I believe that addicts can overcome it if they choose to fight.

If you are an addict or struggle with using, or if you know someone who does, please ask for help.  Contact a support group, go to your doctor, tell your parent.  JUST GET HELP.  Please.

And if you’re a drug dealer, whose sole purpose in life is to addict our children to toxic substances for the simple reason that you want to line your pockets with drug money, you can go to hell.

All of Court’s Men: Dante Giliberti

24 Feb

It’s week two of All of Court’s Men, guys!!  Woohoooo!

This week, it’s a blast from the past with Dante Giliberti, my golden-haired sexy sweetie from my YA Contemporary, Dante’s Girl.

DantesGirlFacebook

Dante’s Girl is a funny, light YA contemporary read…something that will instantly make you feel the twinges of first-love.  :)   Check out the blurb:

I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London.  Every summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring. 

Until this year.

 And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned these things:

 1.  I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.  

2.  If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.

3.  I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.

4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise. 

5.  See number four above.  Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve learned something from every one of them.

 Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine.  He goes to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis.  I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy boots.  See the difference?

 But hearts don’t care about differences.  Hearts want what they want.  And mine just wants to be Dante’s girl. 

 My heart just might be crazy. 

********

True to my belief that Alex Pettyfer should play every male lead in the history of the world (with only a few exceptions), this is the image I have in my head of Dante, (Except for the fact that Dante is blond.  So imagine this picture, except with Alex P blond.  :)

Dante, Alex Pettifer

#TeamDante

Reasons you should love Dante:

He’s golden and gorgeous.   He’s refined and gentlemanly.  He’s the son of a Prime Minister.  He’s funny and sweet and smart.  He’s loyal.  He’s amazing.  He’s a great kisser.  He doesn’t even realize how important he is.  All of the above things are unimportant to him… all he cares about are the important things in life:  Love, family, friends.  The good stuff.

Dante Giliberti is definitely someone you want to meet.  And when you do, picture Alex Pettyfer.

You can find Dante’s Girl on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.    In honor of this week of #TeamDante, Dante’s Girl will be on sale for $.99 USD on Kindle or Nook.  So if you haven’t read Dante’s Girl, now’s the time!  :)

Happy Monday, everyone.  And go #TeamDante!

TeamDante NL

All of Court’s Men: Luca

19 Feb

Happy Wednesday!!

TeamLuca NL

We’re doing something new for the next eight weeks.  I had so much fun revisiting Luca Minaldi as I wrote the second half of his story, that I decided I wanted to re-visit ALL of my men.  Lol.   So, for the next eight weeks, I’ll be highlighting one of my leading men each week.

This week, because his story just came out, I’m highlighting Luca Minaldi.

MinaldiFacebook

This is the Luca that lives in my head:

Daniel di tomasso as Luca, 2

That’s Daniel di Tomasso, folks, and he’s beautiful.  :)

There are tons of reasons why you should want to get to know Luca.  Here are a few:

He’s beautiful.  He’s refined.  He’s sexy and tortured.  Did I mention beautiful?  He runs a shipping company in Malta, and he’s from a prominent Maltese family.  He thinks he cursed (is he??) and so he thinks he’s dangerous (is he??).  His dark eyes smolder.

Trust me, you want to get to know Luca Minaldi.  The story does contain adult themes and content, so please be aware of that.  It’s also different from what you’ve been reading.  I can promise you that.

Here’s a snippet (and again, this contains adult content):

He gazes out the window for a scant moment more, seemingly deep in thought, before he crosses the room to me.  He kneels in front of me and looks into my eyes.  In this moment, he is as vulnerable as I’ve ever seen him, as I’ve ever seen anyone. He’s completely open to me, hiding nothing.

I want so desperately to kiss him.

“I can’t,” I tell his dark eyes, praying that I don’t fall into them.  “I want to kiss you right now.  But I can’t. You’re my patient.  There are ethics…”

Luca shakes his head, his hands on my knees and his gaze upon mine.  “You aren’t my doctor, Evangeline.  You’re my friend.  I’m simply talking to a friend who wants to help me tonight.  You’re not licensed to practice medicine in Malta, remember?  So where does that leave your ethics?”

He smiles wolfishly and waits without moving.  He’s offering himself to me.  I know that.  And it is against his better judgment. He has told me that, as well.  Yet here he is, on his knees in front of me.

I suck in a breath and inhale the air that is so charged with everything that Luca is.

Whatever that is.

It’s dangerous on many levels.  I know that.

I reach out unsure fingers and trace the top of his shoulders, moving over the contours.  They are so broad, yet so slender at once.  He’s perfectly built.  Strong, lithe and powerful.  I drop my head.  I know that I don’t want to resist him anymore.  For the first time in my life, I’m going to do something that my heart wants to do, not what my head tells me to do.

I grip him tighter with my fingers and pull him to me.  He folds in between my knees, pressing me to his chest.  I can hear his heart thumping rhythmically against mine as my fingers linger on his warm back.

He dips his head and presses his forehead to mine, staring into my eyes.  His are a smoldering and stormy black.

“I’m afraid to get close to you,” he tells me.  “I’m afraid for you.”

“I’m not,” I whisper.  “I’m not afraid of you.  Kiss me, Luca.”

Even I can hear the thick desire in my voice and Luca hears it too.

He groans and covers my mouth with his own, muffling the sound with my lips.  He is pressed so close that he seems to absorb me.  Every plane of his body is against every plane of mine.  I don’t know where he stops and where I start, but it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is him and me and this.

I can’t breathe as his fingers run along my arms, down over my back and further to my hips and then he pulls me up, into him.  He grips me tightly, his hands cupping my behind before lifts me, laying me on the thick rug on the stone floor.  He hovers above me, brushing the hair from my eyes before he is once again in my mouth, my tongue mingling with his.  We both taste of Scotch, but his taste is exquisite.  So hot and primal and Luca.

I don’t care what the future brings.  As long as there is this.

So I tell him that and he groans again, into the side of my neck.  He kisses me there, brushing his lips along my skin, inhaling me as though I am the most fragrant thing that has ever existed.  His breath is warm on my neck.

I arch into him and he melts into me.  He is hard.  Every bit of him is hard. I can feel it, can feel him.  The tip of his erection pushes against the juncture of my thighs, against my damp panties.  He pulls off my skirt, then my panties and I am exposed to him as his hand slides against the softness of my thigh. The cool air brushes against my hot flesh and I almost shiver.   I can feel the rigidity of his penis pressing against me, but he withdraws it and I want to whimper.

But it is replaced by his fingers.  Long and strong, he plays me as deftly as he played the ivory keys of the piano.  An ache spreads through me, radiating from the lowest depths of my belly.  I suck in my breath and push against his hand, my hips moving in an age old rhythm that comes as naturally to me as breathing.

“I want to see you,” I murmur against his neck, before I nip at his earlobe, pulling that delicate skin lightly in my teeth.  Luca sucks in his breath and takes a step away, staring down at me as he purposefully removes his shirt and tosses it onto the floor.

His biceps are lean, yet bulging and muscular.  His chest is perfectly chiseled.  Each muscle rippling into a perfect V that points to his crotch.  My heart is pounding and I watch his long fingers as they unbuckle his belt and then he steps out of his slacks.  Then his underwear.

His hard erection is standing at full attention, curved against him, evidence that he definitely wants me.  He is magnificent.

My breath is frozen now, while his is harsh and ragged.

Holy hell.  His is the most beautiful male body I’ve ever seen, absolutely perfect in every way.

The energy between us is intense, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I can’t help but to reach down and grasp his hardness, sliding my fingers along it, listening to his sharp intake of breath as I touch him.  I can’t help but smile.

He’s hard for me.

This is for me.

Minaldi Legacy, Front Cover, Revised

The Minaldi Legacy is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com

 

 

The Minaldi Legacy is live!!

6 Feb

It’s heeeeeere!!!

The Minaldi Legacy is here!

Minaldi Legacy, Front Cover, Revised

“I’m a monster, Eva.  There’s no saving a monster.  But I love that you want to try.”

 Luca Minaldi is rich, powerful and mesmerizing.  He’s also a reclusive enigma.  He lives in Malta, a fairy-tale place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets.  And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best-kept of them all.

 Eva Talbot moves to Malta to finish her doctoral dissertation in Psychiatry.  When she meets Luca, there is a very real and instant attraction that she has never felt before. But even still, she senses the darkness that lives within him.

Eva is hired to care for Luca’s mother, a woman who suffers from dementia.  It is Luca, however, that Eva will eventually risk everything to save… as the legacy that plagues him continues.

As the darkness swirls ever more tightly around her, Eva realizes that no matter how hard she tries, she might not be able to save Luca without losing herself.

Eva and Luca are thrust into a world where their love is tested and darkness reigns.  Amid chaos and treachery, love and hate, Luca and Eva learn one important thing.

Love is dangerous.

But it also might be the one thing that can save them all.

********

If you’ve been waiting for the conclusion to Luca Minaldi’s story, you’ll wait no more.  It’s here today.

And if you haven’t read it yet, never fear.  Part one is included in this two-part book.   :)

You can find it HERE on Amazon.

And HERE on Barnes and Noble.

I know you’ve been waiting for a while for the conclusion to Luca’s story.  I really hope you like it.  :)

 

A Minaldi Legacy excerpt!

5 Feb

As you guys know, tomorrow is the release day for The Minaldi Legacy!!  Woohoooooo!!

 

Vilma's banner

 

I’m super excited about it.  I’ve really missed Luca over the past year, and so now that the conclusion to his story is ready to be shared with the world… I’m just beside myself.

So, I thought I’d share an excerpt today.   :)

Here you go…. from Luca’s point of view:

As I enter our bedroom, Eva looks up from the massive bed and smiles.  Her long dark red hair is draped over her shoulder, her grayish green eyes clear and bright.

“Hey,” she greets me softly, laying her book down on the bed.  “I was wondering where you were.  I couldn’t hear the piano.”

“I wasn’t playing,” I tell her as I sit to take off my shoes.  “I was talking to Damien.”

Eva freezes in anticipation.  “And?”

“And there is still no sign of Adrian,” I tell her softly.  “Don’t worry, Eva.  We’re safe here.  We’ve got a full staff of trained guards patrolling the perimeter of Chessarae.  He might know these grounds, but he can’t breach our walls without us knowing about it ahead of time. You’re safe.”

“It’s not me I’m worried about,” she says firmly as she tucks a tendril of stray hair behind her ear.

I strip my clothes off and she watches, her eyes filling with a familiar hunger.  It’s the same hunger I feel whenever I look at her, touch her, or listen to her.  God, how I want her.  Something in me has retreated from her though.  It’s as though a part of me thinks to shield her, to protect her from me.  Or against losing me.  Because something ominous hangs over our heads and I know that it will drop upon us any day.

But tonight, I shake those ugly thoughts away as I walk to the bed and slip in next to the woman I love.   Whatever else we have or don’t have, we do have this moment.

“I’ve missed you,” I admit hoarsely as I fold in next to her.  She looks at me in surprise, then pulls me to her.

“I’ve missed you too,” she murmurs, her hands sliding along my back, pulling me closer.  “I’ve missed you so much, Luca.  You’re here, but you’re not really here.  You’re gone from me.  I know it sounds stupid to say, but that’s how I feel.”

I nod, but don’t acknowledge that she’s right.  She already knows.

“Be with me tonight,” she breathes, her hands fluttering down over my chest, down to my groin, where my manhood pulses and waits.  Her fingers find it and I suck in my breath before I crush my lips to hers.

“Yes,” I say simply.  I push her into the mattress and her legs wrap around my waist, her tongue in my mouth, her breath warm and sweet.

“Luca,” she moans softly.  “Touch me.”

So I do. I touch her everywhere.  My fingers slip into her and she arches up toward my hand.  My fingers are cool as I slide them in and out, slow then fast.  I know this woman.  I know her scent, the way she moves, what she enjoys.  There’s comfort in that, a blessed familiarity.  I bring her to orgasm within minutes, her breath quickening as she whispers my name.

I slide into her wetness and I groan as her warmth surrounds me, pulling me into her.  I grip her hips, pulling her closer, as I delve further inside of her.  My hardness contrasts with her softness, and the friction is exquisite.  It isn’t long until I orgasm as well, shaking as I hover above her, pulsing into her.

When I collapse onto her, she pulls me tight.

“You’re staying with me tonight.”

Lately, I’ve made a habit out of sleeping on a lounger in our sitting area.  I hate to disturb Eva when I can’t sleep, or when I wake with nightmares.  But I don’t argue tonight.  I need her, too.

“Yes,” I agree.   I hold her until she falls asleep, her breathing soft and even.  I watch the shadows on the wall move and sway, I listen to the sea crash against the shore, I stare at the moonlight slanting in on the floor.

I still can’t sleep.

For hours, I can’t sleep.

When I finally do, my dreams are filled with darkness.

But that is nothing new.

********

There you have it!!  The last excerpt before Luca releases tomorrow.  If you’re ready to read something different than you’ve been reading lately, be sure to pick up The Minaldi Legacy tomorrow.  :)

Tall, dark and dangerous

The Minaldi Legacy- An Excerpt!!

4 Feb

Soooooo.  I’ve been house hunting down in the south where it’s warm, and haven’t had a chance to talk much about my upcoming book, The Minaldi Legacy.

First, in case you are wondering why I would like to move, let me just show you.  This is why:

photo

 

I hate the cold.  Snow is pretty for about a week, then the whiteness of the snow and grayness of the sky begins to get to me.  I know some people love it.  I’m just not one of them.  Haha.

Biut now– on to my Minaldi Legacy… and one of my favorite male characters, Luca Minaldi.

First, I’d like to share a photo that I saw the other day.  Until now, I haven’t been able to find any real person who came close to the Luca Minaldi that I have in my head.   BUT, Daniel di Tomasso comes very close.

What do you think?

Daniel di tomasso as Luca, 2

I think he’s beautiful.  And very, very Luca.

Words to describe Luca Minaldi?   Hmm.  Dark.  Dangerous.  Sexy.  Beautiful.  Tortured.  Refined.  Elegant.  Powerful.  Did I mention Sexy?   Sexy.  Delicious.  Sexy.  Sexy.  Sexy.

Okay, you get the picture.

Now, I thought I’d share the never-before-seen prologue of part two of The Minaldi Legacy (OF DARKNESS AND DEMONS).

Prologue

 

At night, I walk alone.

Amid the dark and the shadows, I sink my feet into damp sand and continue on my way. The salty sea water laps at my ankles, washing over the bare skin of my feet.  It can’t wash me clean, however.  Nothing can.

But that doesn’t matter here in the night.  No one can see me for what I’ve done, for what I might still do. The demons can’t chase me.  They can’t find me in the dark although it wouldn’t matter if they could.  I’m worse than all of them, yet I’m one of them all the same.

The dark, the demons… I belong to them.

My will doesn’t matter, my intentions don’t matter, my thoughts don’t even matter.

They aren’t my own anymore.

I am a child of demons and darkness.

The sooner I reconcile myself with that fact, the sooner I will no longer be tormented.

As if that time will ever come.

The moon hangs heavy on the horizon, like a pregnant star, its yellowed belly grazing the sea. I gaze at it for a moment, chasing all other thoughts from my mind, until I finally acknowledge that I have to go back.  I have to face that which is too nightmarish to face.

Too inconceivable.

Too horrible.

I turn, and step by step, my feet carry me back to Chessarae.

My home.

My prison.

********

Luca Minaldi’s story is unlike anything you’ve been reading lately.  I can pretty much promise you that.  He’s different.  And delicious.   As my BFF Michelle Leighton put it, “He’s tall, dark and dangerous.”

That he is.

And he’s coming to you DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

Can you handle him?

 

Q&A with me tonight!

2 Feb

So, I know that most of the world will be watching the Super Bowl tonight.  But, if you have some spare minutes between 8:00 and 9:00 pm EST, I’ll be on a Book Whore’s Obsession to answer your questions and do a couple of giveaways.

So, bring your questions and come HERE.

Also, The Minaldi Legacy is releasing in a few days!  Eeeeppppppp!!!!  I seriously cannot wait.  I’ll think of a cool contest to run next week to celebrate.

In case you’re wondering, I kind of see Daniel di Tomasso as my Luca Minaldi.  He’s not an exact match to the Luca that lives in my head, but he’s pretty close. What do you think?  Beautiful, right?

Daniel di tomasso as Luca, 2

Anyway, just wanted to personally invite you to come and ask me questions.  Hope to see you there!  :)

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

 

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