It will get better!!

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So, this post isn’t about books.  It’s because of something I’m seeing a lot in the news lately, and in my FB feed, and it’s troubling me, so I wanted to say something.  This is a bit long, but please bear with me.

Since I moved to Florida six months ago, I’ve heard about four middle-schoolers who have committed suicide.  FOUR.  The most recent was this week, a sixth grader in a middle school in the next county.  He’d been bullied mercilessly because he was smaller than average and one day last week, he killed himself in a school bathroom.

You see it in the news nationwide, these kids who are bullied because of their size, sexual orientation, because they wear glasses or braces or are poor or socially awkward, or even when there’s nothing different about them at all.  Because frankly, middle schoolers and high-schoolers can be mean.  Period.

But if this is you, if you are getting bullied, please HEAR  ME NOW.  IT WILL GET BETTER. IT WILL.

When I was in grade school, I lived with my grandparents.  And of course fashion wasn’t the most important thing to them, so I dressed a bit funny. I had glasses.  I wasn’t a “cool kid” because not everyone is lucky enough to be born into a perfect family with money and the desire to make sure their kids fit in.  I didn’t have piano lessons and a soccer team and the best of everything.   In fact, look at this picture. You can see my progression of being a funny-looking little girl, to when I finally blossomed and came into my own.  But I was awkward and gawky for a lonnnnngg time.

CCschoolpics

I was teased.  I didn’t have any friends.  I was isolated and sad.  I wasn’t shoved into lockers or anything because that’s usually a boy thing, I think.  But I was made fun of and ostracized, and that’s just as bad.

Then in sixth grade, I changed schools and things didn’t get any better.  Kids were mean to me that whole year.  The stress of it made me physically sick– I missed so many days of school because of fevers, brought on by worrying about my life at school.

Kids that age (and I know, because I was one), they just don’t see that things will ever get better.  They don’t see it, they can’t fathom it.  They can’t see outside of today, or this week, and right now, things suck.  Bad.  They need someone to tell them– Hey, it’ll get better.  I promise.  Hang in there.  

Books became my friends, and I read voraciously.  When no one wanted to sit with me, I put my nose in a book and disappeared into a different world.  And guess what?  It totally worked out for me.  That love of reading turned into a love of writing, which is now a very good career for me.  A career that I love, a career that I’m blessed by.

By middle-school, I’d started to come out of it.  I made some friends and things started to change.  But I was scarred by the bullying from grade school, for sure. It’s something that you never forget.

I’m no longer the skinny little bespeckled girl who was ostracized.  I’m a successful, happy, well-adjusted independent woman.  Learning how to deal with the mean kids made me grow as a person.  I became self-reliant.  Because no matter how bad a situation is, you can always take something from it.

This is what I took from it. It’s a quote my grandma shared with me during that awful time.   “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt.   And you know what?  It was true.  What some stuck-up, self-important snooty kids think of you simply doesn’t matter.  Not in the long run.  It might feel that way today, but trust me, in twenty years, those kids will be less than NOTHING to you.  Their opinion of you doesn’t matter.  Not really.  In fact, a lot of them will grow up to have icky lives, because I fully believe that whatever you put into the world, you get back in some way.

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I know that’s hard to believe right now, right now in this instant when you are so miserable and sad.   So let me share another piece of wisdom that my grandma used to tell me, something that I never found comforting at the time, but now I know it’s true:   This too shall pass.    She’d always say, This too shall pass, honey. It always does.

And you know what?  She was right.  Everything passes.   What seems unbearable to you now, won’t be unbearable to  you in a blink of an eye.  The kids that are mean to you right now?  They’ll be ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to you in just a few years.

So please.  PLEASE.  If you find yourself in a dark place where you feel like you can’t take it anymore, PLEASE tell someone.  Tell your mom.  Don’t be embarrassed.  Tell your dad. Tell your counselor.  Be honest, be straight-forward.  Tell them,”This is bad. I need help.”  SOMEONE WILL HELP YOU.   There are online classes, there are alternatives, you can be helped.  But please. Give someone the chance to help you. They don’t know if you don’t say anything.

Just please… tell someone.  And always know that no matter how hard it gets, it’s temporary.  EVERYTHING is always temporary.  It’ll get better.  You just have to give it the chance.

Dumbeldore

Hitched by Karpov Kinrade

You guys, I’m intrigued by this upcoming release by Karpov Kinrade.  Check it out, and you’ll see what I mean.

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He called me “wife.”

This man standing naked in front of me. Tall. Dark. Sexy as sin…

He’s my husband?

Disjointed images from the night before, the night I can’t entirely remember, float into my mind.

Meeting him in the bar. Sharing tidbits of our lives. I own a company that plans bachelor parties. He’s a pediatric heart surgeon.

We both live in Las Vegas, but we come from very different worlds.

And then I remember that kiss. The way his lips brushed against mine, gentle at first, then harder, deeper, with more urgency.

Sex in the elevator. Hot, forbidden, delicious.

I remember the way he made me feel. The way our bodies fit perfectly together.

But I don’t remember marrying him.

And now, he won’t let me go. Dr. Sexy who saves children for a living. He wants the summer to prove we are meant to be.

I can give him a summer.

But can I give him a lifetime?

***

This sounds deliciously entertaining and I can’t wait until it releases on November 23rd to check it out!

Preorder on Amazon: http://bit.ly/HitchedAmazon and iBooks: http://bit.ly/HitchediBooks

#GetHitched

My Birthday Celebration!

Yayyyyy, it’s my birthday!!!   I’ve heard that a woman’s first 39th is her best.  Lol.   Seriously, I intend for this year to be a Farewell to my Thirties, and I intend to do big things!

First off, we’ll start with today.

I’ve decided to put a ton of my titles on sale today in celebration.

Birthday book Sale Banner

 

Confessions of an Alli Cat
Dante’s Girl
Mia’s Heart
The Minaldi Legacy
Soul Kissed
Soul Bound

 

So if you haven’t read any of these titles, now is the perfect time to try them!

And as you know, Guardian re-releases today.  It’s $.99 for today only, so if you love YA Paranormal Romance, pick it up!

GUARDIAN ARC for INKSLINGER - Courtney Cole

It’s available on AMAZON, iTunes, B&N and Kobo

**It’s taking a while to upload to B&N.  But when it goes live, I’ll leave the price at $.99 for an entire day**

Anyway.  I hope you all have a fabulous August 28th!!

 

The Launch of my Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Hey guys,

So, as most of you have noticed, the reach on Facebook has drastically decreased over this past year.   Even though I have a lot of ‘Likes” and “friends”, only a fraction of them (You) see what I post.

Soooooooo, I’ve finally bit the bullet and I’m going to do a newsletter.  I started the process a long time ago, but never actually did it, because let’s face it, when it comes to doing anything other than writing, I don’t usually want to do it.  Lol.

BUT, I mean it this time.  I’m doing a newsletter.  I promise, I won’t flood your inboxes every other day.  I’ll only do one when I have something to announce or something cool to share.  (Because again, when it comes to doing anything other than writing, I’m a bit reticent about it.  Read that as:  Lazy).

Readers who subscribe to my newsletter will hear announcements first, and will be eligible for special giveaways exclusive to the newsletter.    The first edition will go out MONDAY, August 25th, so sign up before then if you want to be in on it from the beginning.

Go to the CONTACT PAGE on my website, scroll down on the right hand side, and you’ll see where you can sign up.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

What I Know about Life

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