Spring Break Staycation

The view from our balcony. Snow, Christmas lights, overcast sky.

The view from our balcony. Snow, Christmas lights, overcast sky.

Yesterday was the beginning of Spring Break. Normally we try to take at least a short vacation. This year we are staying close to home because I am afraid of leaving Chloe alone. She’s our brindle terrier mix, and she runs the house. She’s 15 years old and doesn’t feel well much of the time. She also seems to be getting separation anxiety, as we have to be in her sight at all times or she whines in distress. Our poor baby girl.

It’s fun to look back at some of our trips. Others, not so much. A few years ago, we had reservations at Trappe Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. We looked forward to sitting in the nice warm lodge and watching the snow. We would nap, drink tea and hot chocolate, eat from their wonderful menu. We would relax. At home, meteorologists predicted a dusting. 

 They were wrong.

The second evening of our vacation, our sitter called to ask if any of our neighbors might be able to feed and walk our dogs. She was afraid she wouldn’t be able to get out to make her visits with him. Turns out the prediction of snow had changed drastically, and the governor would be closing the roads over heavy snow. I panicked. All of our neighbors are elderly and none of them able to care for our dogs. Our only option was to immediately return home. We hurriedly packed and talked with hotel staff. We were booked for the week. Fortunately, the manager was kind and didn’t ask us to pay for the remainder of the week, despite the fact that she was entitled to do so.

As we drove through the night, not a single snowflake fell. We finally found an all-night grocery store where we bought a large supply of junk food and soda to sustain us on the trip. Since we had been on the go since early morning, we struggled to stay awake and alert.

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We made it to Hartford as the sun rose. Snow started falling as we pulled into the driveway. We unpacked and quickly checked food supplies since we had not shopped before leaving.

Finally satisfied that we didn’t need any supplies, our dogs were in good shape, and we were okay, too, we went to sleep. It was still snowing when we woke, and the accumulation was deep. I was able to dig a short path from our back door to allow the dogs out. They really were not happy—the snow was taller then each of them!

It snowed for 2 more days. The neighborhood was so quiet and peaceful. We kept some of the path clear for the dogs by using a long shovel we kept inside for that purpose, but we weren’t able to open the doors wide enough for us to leave.  Didn’t matter; the city didn’t plow our road for three days. 

The takeaway is simple. No more long trips over spring break. Fine by me; it’s snowing again today.

Binge-Watched: A Review of Umbrella Academy

A remote control pointing to a blurry television.

A remote control pointing to a blurry television.

Umbrella Academy is a new series on Netflix. I’d say it’s urban fantasy, my favorite genre to read and watch.

Despite some irritations, I loved this show.  I had no knowledge of the comic so had no expectations, which may have allowed me to enjoy the show instead of looking for where it diverged.

The premise seems to be this: On October 1, 1989, 43 women who had not been pregnant that morning gave birth. A rich entrepreneur adopts 7 of them.  He trains them as superheroes to combat crime. Each child has a unique superpower. For some reason, unexplained but perhaps hinted at, the children go their separate ways. This story takes place when they reunite at their father’s death.

Many of the characters are a bit stereotypical. But can we expect more from comic book villains and heroes?  We saw their flaws and strengths in concrete terms. However, I found most of them to be sympathetic. I tend to be attracted to stories of broken heroes and this one gives me three--Luther, Diego, and Klaus.  

There were a few others worth mentioning. I adored Hazel and the donut lady. I liked Bobo and felt so much emotion from “mom” even though she was supposed to be an automaton. I cared and worried about these people. On the other hand, one major irritant was the show’s inconsistencies. Luther’s size was all over the board.  And the speed of the relationship between Leonard and Vanya was hard to believe. Speaking of Vanya, I also couldn’t believe her total personality metamorphosis took only 3 or 4 days. As this was a major part of the season’s arc, I had some difficulty staying connected to the storyline.

 Even with the irritants, what the series does well had me hooked--Giving viewers a reason to care about the characters.  I watched the entire season in two days. And I’m sure I’ll watch it again.

Bad Habits Require New Habits

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Those of you following my newsletter know that I’ve embarking on a journey this year to achieve a few goals. Not resolutions, but concrete, measurable goals. Many of you’ve joined me. So far, we’ve set goals and crafted them for maximum effectiveness using the SMART goal strategy. 

Sometimes, resolutions or SMART goals involve creating new habits. You’ve probably heard the adage it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple. New habits can take much, much longer to develop. A quick Google search will guide you to interesting and more accurate information. (Suffice to say establishing a new habit requires dedication, persistence (including a promise to yourself to never give up), and an overarching desire to win. Did I mention persistence? 

Other goals involve eliminating longstanding habits. Here is something to think about: It is far easier to get rid of a bad or maladaptive habit when you find something to replace it. For instance, one of my 2019 goals is to eat less and better-for-me food. I can replace bad-for-me food with foods that are better—easy. Sort of. But if I want to eat less, what can I do with the desire to eat more? I replace the habit of snacking with behaviors that are incompatible with snacking. For example, crocheting. I can’t eat and crochet at the same time. I also can’t brush my teeth and snack.

(You know what I mean. Doesn’t everyone like the feeling of freshly brushed teeth?)

At times, it is also important to think about WHY you engage in the not-good-for-you behavior. For example, let’s say you want desperately to stop picking your fingernails. It’s more than a habit; you understand you do this when you’re anxious. With this knowledge, you can find other things to do when you’re nervous, things designed to soothe you. Drinking a cup of tea? Deep breathing exercises? Calling your BFF? One of these options would always be available to you. When you finally make the commitment to stop picking your fingernails, you’ll have these other tools at your disposal.

The point is, when you are trying to stop doing something, you have to replace it with something else. In fact, start doing the new, positive thing BEFORE you tackle stopping the old thing.

Make sense? What habits do you want to change?

But She's Chloe

By this time in January, my partner and I have usually taken 1 or 2 mini vacations, seen lots of movies, and in general had big fun. Not this year.

Christmas evening, we returned home to find our Chloe laying in bed, still. She barely looked up at us. We were petrified. Despite being 14 years old, our Chloe (or Chlorine Baconskin, as we call her when trying to retrieve something she’s stolen) was an energetic, marauding thief who bosses her younger brother and sister (and us) around. The next day was no better. She also began to vomit. Off to the vet.

Bloodwork showed her liver enzymes were off the chart, immeasurably high. Her pancreatic enzymes were off as well. An ultrasound showed two masses—one on her liver and one by her pancreas. The doctors announced two possibilities: a serious infection or cancer.

No, that’s not possible. It’s Chloe, marauder extraordinaire.

We waited over a week for the results of the biopsy. Meanwhile, Chloe began to get better. More active. More bossy and complaining if supper was two minutes past the usual time. Finally, we got word that no sign of cancer or infection were found. Our primary vet, who has treated her for most of her life, warned us that the next step would likely entail more invasive procedures that would tax her already distressed liver.

Today, Chloe is her usual marauding self. Just this afternoon we discovered she’d hidden a box of tissues to rip into shreds as the mood arises. That’s why we’re staying home. To see that the girl is comfortable and happy. To keep tabs on her thievery. To get her dinner on time. And to make sure she knows she’s loved—Just because she’s Chloe.

My Chloe. Don't you just love her?

A Wish for You

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A major theme in my writing is that we are happiest when we can be who we are. I think it resonates with me because I spent so much of my life trying to be the person others expected me to be. Maybe you've had similar experiences. 

I'm starting a quest for the new year. Part envisioning, part goal setting. Why not join me? 

Once a month I'll send out a short email offering ideas and action steps to put us on the journey to living the life we imagine. Don't worry; I'll still talk about books and things. To start us off, I'm offering a brief tool to keep track of where you're going. Just click the button to join my email list. You’ll then be directed to the booklet. It will open in your browser for you to download in the usual way. You can print it double-sided, and then fold it into a booklet. I find it helpful to have something I can write on.

2019 is going to be awesome.

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National Novel Writing Month

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A few years ago I learned about a form of torture that takes place all over the world every November. I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWrIMo as it has come to be known. This requires an author to write a 50,000 novel in 3o days.  I was struggling with my first book at the time and this seemed like an interesting distraction.

            I am sure I have complained about this before but it bears repeating.  No woman in her right mind would choose November for this endeavor.  

            I don’t remember how many words I wrote before realizing I was going to have company for two weeks at Thanksgiving. There were automatically 2 weeks that I would not be able to write with any kind of regularity.

            This went on for several years.  I always consoled myself with “At least you have some words you can use later.

            This year I vowed that I would win Nano whatever it took.  The first thing to go were descriptions. They are in a house damn it, what more do you want? Dialog became stilted and nothing was added beyond said, asked, or replied. And some of my characters had never used a contraction in their lives. Sometimes scenes just faded to black, and not just sex scenes.  I thought, If Criminal Minds could get away with  “as you know” conversations successfully for 14 seasons who was I to doubt its usefulness.

            Most importantly we celebrated Thanksgiving at someone else’s house.  And all decided not to exchange Christmas gifts. So I only lost 6 full days of writing.

            I counted every word religiously, keeping watch that Scrivener didn’t lie to me. My fingers developed a mind of their own and sometimes I swear I did not write those words. And my fingers were obviously delirious because those words made no sense. Maybe a letter or two that I needed but that was all. Sometimes I could figure out what I meant to say, sometimes I just had to start that part over.

            Then on November 28 Scrivener said I had reached 50,000. I didn’t trust it. I continued to write just to be sure.

            And just like that, I had won NANOWRIMO.  It had only taken me 10 years to accomplish.  It’s a terrible rough draft but who cares.  I did it.

 I DID IT!

Rhode Island ComicCon

Whew. Finally all recovered from a weekend like RICC, Rhode Island Comic Con. My partner and I go every year, and usually buy way too much superhero/rockstar/wrestling paraphernalia. While I won’t say we didn’t buy anything, I can say we didn’t do the usual amount of damage.

There were three highlights for us. The main highlight, the once in a lifetime one, was attending an intimate discussion with Tim Curry. Yes, you heard me. Tim Curry, of IT, Clue, Legend and a hundred other movies, my favorite of them being Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tere’s only one word to describe Mr.Curry in that movie: Yummy.

But I digress.

As you might know, he’s not been well for some time. I understand he’s had one, maybe two strokes that have left him unable to walk. But he is still the same beautiful man with the same sharp wit. He spoke of his various roles, and shared many stories about his life “on set”. When asked about the most recent version of Rocky Horror, he stated that while Laverne Cox was beautiful and terrific in the role she played, overall he found the make unnecessary. By casting a transgendered woman in the role of Frank N Furter, he believed they missed the point that Frank N Furter was a transvestite, not a transgendered person, and that he, “would fuck anything”.

Gotta love him.

Another highlight of the weekend also related to Rocky Horror: A Panel discussion with Meatloaf and Barry Bostwick. Clearly these two have been on panels together before, because they had a comfortable (if not biting) banter between them.

Finally, after chasing his misbehaving butt down all weekend, I finally caught up with Lil Monkey. He’d run off to join the cosplaying pirates. I tell you, he was lucky I found him. I was about to leave his ungrateful ass.

Not. Who loves ya, Monkey? Can’t wait until next year.

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Dress Up Dress Down with Stacy Juba

Join me in welcoming author Stacy Juba to Living After Midnight!


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Jaine, the protagonist of my chick lit novel Fooling Around With Cinderella (Storybook Valley #1) dresses in casual tops and jeans until she gets hired as a theme park Cinderella. Then her daily wardrobe becomes a rich gold ball gown embroidered with silver thread and gleaming pearls. It has lots of tulle, and she feels like a parade float. She also has to wear a tiara and translucent pumps that resemble glass slippers.

Wearing this outfit makes her identifiable as Cinderella. Children follow her around, dads flirt with her, and her coworkers nickname her Cindy.

She feels way out of her comfort zone dressing like a princess. On her lunch breaks, when the castle door is locked, she kicks off her glass slippers and puts on a pair of comfy flip flops. 

Jaine lets herself get talked into playing Cinderella as she is an out-of-work marketing professional, and her cute new boss Dylan has offered her a full-time office job in the fall. Unfortunately, the offer has strings attached - helping Dylan to break the Cinderella Curse by filling in as the park’s star princess. Accepting the Cinderella gig shows how desperate this Plain Jaine is for a job and for a happily ever after.

About the Author

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. She is currently writing the next book in the Storybook Valley Series and teaching online classes for writers. Visit her website at www.stacyjuba.com to get your free Storybook Valley Welcome Kit. 

Find Stacy at these links:

Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Juba/100155471301

Twitter:https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

Fooling Around With Cinderella - Storybook Valley #1

Ever wondered what those cheerful theme park princesses are really thinking? When twenty-five-year-old Jaine proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, the general manager Dylan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom…

Buy Links:

Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Fooling-Around-Cinderella-Storybook-Valley-ebook/dp/B0173T2MMO/ref

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fooling-around-with-cinderella-stacy-juba/1122680940?ean=2940152324976

Kobo:https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/fooling-around-with-cinderella

iBookstore:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1042194826

Excerpt:

Dylan scrutinized Jaine, arms folded across his royal blue shirt with the Storybook Valley logo stamped over the left in white block letters. “Do you wear contacts?”

“I have plenty of media contacts. Wait. Did you say wear contacts? You mean instead of these?” Jaine fingered the earpiece of her gold-rimmed glasses.

“Right. Contact lenses.”

She gave a nervous chuckle. “I scheduled a consultation in college, but was too squeamish to insert the lens. I was more comfortable in glasses.”

Was she really justifying her vision enhancement choices to her prospective new boss? Maybe he intended to discuss medical benefits. Or did he think she looked nerdy? What was the saying? Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses? Not that she wantedhim to make a pass even if he washot.

“How blind are you without glasses?” Dylan persisted.

“You wouldn’t want to drive with me.”

“How about if you’re walking around a building? Are you in danger of hurting yourself?”

This interview had taken the Mad Hatter Freeway from Fairy Tale Land into Wonderland where nothing made a damn bit of sense. Did this guy have a glasses fetish, like those weirdoes with shoe fetishes?

“I should be okay. I take them off for special occasions.” In fact, Jaine’s older sister Bree, who was getting married in August, remarked just last week, “You are losing the glasses for my wedding pictures, right?”

What the hell. She’d be a good sport and hope Dylan would be so grateful to pick the brain of a real, flesh and blood, bespectacled person that he would appoint her marketing director. Jaine removed her glasses and the fine details of her surroundings fuzzed. She nodded toward the framed print hanging on a side wall, the picture a wash of symbols and colors. “I can tell that’s a park map, but the words and images smear together.”

And that was myopia in a nutshell. Jaine adjusted her glasses back into place so she could see his reaction. Dylan examined her with such intensity that a blush stained her cheeks. She patted her blonde French braid, in case stray strands were straggling out.

“Here’s the situation,” Dylan said. “I took over the general manager position a few months ago. I’m evaluating possible changes and researching how other theme parks run. My grandfather and father have worked with a marketing firm for years to create our brochures, billboards, print, and radio ads.”

Jaine’s shoulders caved, imperceptible to him, but it felt as if her whole body was sinking.

No fairy tale job ending for her.

Dress Up Dress Down with Helen B. Henderson

In this week’s post, Anastasia of Clan Weiss shows off her style from Dragon Destiny(Book 1 of the Dragshi Chronicles.) 

Tell us about your heroine’s typical style of dress. What is the condition of the clothing?

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Unlike the ladies who reside in towns and even some of her own kin, Anastasia of Dragon Destinyis usually found in pants rather than skirts. A jacket keeps out the worst of the crisp breeze and winter’s grasp.

Is this how she wants to dress?  If yes, why? If not, what would she choose to wear and why?

As t why she dresses in something other than the popular style? Anastasia is the teacher for her train and teaching little ones often requires speed and flexibility unhampered by a long skirt. Another reason she wears pants is that by her own choice, she often rides rear guard for the caravan for the solitude it provides. Her trail clothes are well worn leathers suitable for long hours in a saddle or the seat of a wagon.

There are times in the Dragshi Chronicles where Anastasia dreams of wearing a fancy gown at a formal ball, but practicality takes precedence. 

Does your heroine change her style of dress over the course of the book? If so, how, and what does it mean, if anything?

As one of the few true humans who can communicate using mindspeech with either true dragons or the dragshi (humans with a twinned dragon soul), she is chosen for a special mission to find a missing dragon. To accomplish her goal she goes undercover as a sailor and trades in her leathers for the garb of the sea. Among the changes she makes is to cut her hair short. The impromptu disguise causes heartache when she wonders if the man she loves with hate her new look, but saves her life when she comes face to face with his enemy, the pirate Lady Broch. At least at that encounter, Broch did not see her enemy, the black-haired trader girl with long tresses, in the short-haired sailor with sun-streaked curls.

This was not the only time that Anastasia was in disguise. During her training with the Ceoltier Guild which she was given in preparation of serving the dragshi, she wore boy’s clothing. There were those who would have hunted her down and killed her. But since everyone knew that no female could be a ceoltier, her role as an apprentice (and as such a boy) gave her added protection beyond that provided by the weapons training provided by the guild.

How do his or her outfits set your hero apart from other characters?

At a special birthday dance, even though she wore a long skirt and vest for the event, her outfit still set her apart as a trader rather than a townsman. The dark blue fabric contrasted with the browns and reds worn by the local girls. The new vest she wore showed how she was neither a local nor a trader. The one was by birth and the other by circumstances as Anastasia was trapped by duty with no foreseeable escape. The vest did not have the usual colored embroidery of a trader’s clothing. In fact, the only adornment was a stylized dragon in flight embroidered in gold on the shoulder. It might be just a simple design, but it meant more to her than the fanciest gown worn by any of the other girls. Anastasia’s mother once told her the flying dragon marked a bond between the old ones and her kin, Clan Weiss.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I love to hear from my readers and I always invite them to join me on journeys to worlds of imagination. They can find me in the virtual world on my blog: helenhenderson-author.blogspot.comor at the following spots:

Facebook— www.facebook.com/HelenHenderson.author

Twitter— twitter.com/history2write

Goodreads— www.goodreads.com/author/show/777491.Helen_Henderson

Dragon Destiny

Blurb:

Lord Branin of the dragshi, is more than just a man, but two beings—one a dragon, the other a human. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. From the time Branin's twinned soul, Llewlyn, awoke, Branin knew the freedom of flight. However, being a shifter came with a price. Branin and Llewlyn are the only two of their kind who have not found their intended mates, despite millennia of waiting... and searching.

When a faint thought impinged on Branin's mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soared. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter's birth have been seen, he searches the world for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name, Anastasia.

However, the firebrand raider, Lady Broch of Ky'port has her own plan--to wed the dragon lord -- with or without his willing cooperation. And she will not tolerate anyone, not even a dragon lord or his twinned soul, from standing in her way.

Since we’ve been discussing clothing, an excerpt dealing with her presentation ceremony. The event is made even more special since it is being held on Anastasia’s birthday. Her life on the trail meant that celebrating her birthday was a simple affair and the customary presentation party was not held when she became of age.


 

Excerpt from Dragon Destiny:

A soft knock on the door shifted Anastasia’s attention and changed her mood to a more dignified one. At her lilting, “Come,” Lady Eirwen entered on Ranald’s arm. Dealan and Karenina followed close behind in a hiss of starlton. Chains of silver-filigreed rosettes and beads circled all three women’s upswept hair. The cut of Eirwen’s pale blue gown and the embroidered silk trim on the bodice and sleeves reflected a style long out of fashion. Anastasia smiled at her aunt’s own vintage dress, which harmonized perfectly with the ones worn by Eirwen and Dealan.

“You look beautiful, Anastasia,” Karenina said. Tears shimmered in her eyes. “Your mother would be so proud of you. Here, dear, it’s almost time to leave, let me finish your hair.”

A hint of winter roses wafted past. Anastasia bent her head for Karenina to complete a final detail of crystals.

The strains of an old mountain tune floated into the room when the servant opened the double doors that led outside. A glance in the mirror showed a shimmering crown of sparkling diamonds woven into the curls of her dark braids. With a deep breath, Anastasia stood, took Ranald’s offered arm, and followed her aunt and the two dragshi out the door to her future… and she hoped... Branin.

Anastasia clung to Ranald’s arm. She kept her gaze focused on the backs of her aunt, Eirwen, and Dealan, as they led the way toward the great hall where the presentation guests waited. One corridor led to another, each one brightly lit by hundreds of candles. Although she had traveled the same path many times since arriving at Cloud Eyrie, the walls seemed to glow with a special magic. The river of light ended at a staircase that curved down to the main hall. Granite treads gleamed from the moonbeams filtering through massive skylights.

Dealan sneaked a look over the railing at those below. “It looks like everything is ready,” she whispered. “It just needs you, Anastasia.”

Anastasia’s fought to slow her racing pulse. Not trusting her voice, she nodded.

Dealan waved at Vivel and Oran, before moving to stand behind Eirwen.

Oran left the small gathering of dragshi and strode to the bottom of the staircase. Pride showed in the journeyman’s face. “Lords and ladies, honored guests. Acting on behalf of Arianrhod, matriarch of Clan Miller, Lady Eirwen of Cloud Eyrie claims the right of eldest kin.”

Anastasia, watching Eirwen glide down the stairs, hoped her descent would be as graceful as the dragshi’s.

Next Oran introduced Dealan, sponsoring Anastasia on behalf of the women of Clan Miller who had passed beyond the veil. Dealan walked with a light step down the stairs to her waiting husband. Karenina stepped forward. Silence filled the hall, enabling her voice to carry to the far ends and echo back. “As head mistress of Clan Miller, I present to you Anastasia, daughter of Voirrey and Yunka.” After a final smile at Anastasia, Karenina, her head high with a reserved dignity, joined the others gathered below.

Despite having Ranald for support, Anastasia felt alone standing at the top of the stairs. Don’t trip. The light embrace Ranald gave her reminded Anastasia of her mother’s hugs. The trembling in her legs vanished. “I’m ready,” she whispered.

Trumpet flourishes rang out. On the third bar, Anastasia started down the stairs in the stately tread of the presentation march.

Ranald stopped on the lowest landing, a mere dozen steps from the bottom. “I’m glad I claimed the right of elder kin,” he murmured. Anastasia felt his lips graze her cheek in a chaste kiss, then, he stepped to the side, leaving her standing alone. Although she heard the words with her ears, Anastasia swore she also heard in silver tones in her mind, “Welcome, Anastasia of Clan Miller.”

Straightening from her deep curtsy, Anastasia now had no choice but to look out over the crowded hall. Cloud Eyrie was so big she had not realized there were so many people living there. Her eyes searched the throng until she found Branin standing off to one side. The wink he tossed removed the last of her nerves.

Dress Up Dress Down with Viviana MacKade

Join me in welcoming author Viviana MacKade to Living After Midnight

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•   Tell us about your hero’s or heroine’s typical style of dress.

Summer is very casual. She likes to be comfortable, especially at work (she’s a GP). Her signature style is jeans and sneakers, hair in a ponytail.

Aidan doesn’t care. Much like Summer, he wants to be comfortable. Jeans and boots, throw in a leather jacket, and he’s perfectly at ease. Now, the state of said clothes changes based on his work (he’s a sculptor). He can end up covered in dust and crumbles of stone, or with only a few specks. 

•   What happens when or if your character wears the opposite style?

Summer enjoys the occasional dressing up, but to her is a game, something to do for fun every once in a while. 

The only time Aidan ever accepted formal wear was for his wedding. In that occasion, wearing a suit and tie wasn’t a stretch or an imposition, he was actually happy to do it. 

•   What would she/ he never wear? Why?

Summer would never wear something extremely sexy. She’d probably laugh and shake her head. 

Aidan would probably shred to pieces any suit coming his way. 

•   Does your hero or heroine change his style of dress over the course of the book? If so, how, and what does it mean, if anything?

No, they stay the same. There’s no reason for them to change it. 

His Midnight Sun 

by Viviana MacKade

Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning up to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?

Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge. 

Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?

Release September 15, available for pre-sale 

$ 0.99 FREE with KU

Buy Link

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDP26VB?

https://goo.gl/L8okF6

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THE AUTHOR

Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.

Find me:

On my websitehttp://www.viviana-mackade.blog/

On FB

On Twitter

Amazon Author page


Excerpt

Prolog

Fire.

Fire would eat all.

The simple, brown casket entered the cremation chamber accompanied by the soft crying of the mourners.

A sister. So-called friends. No mother or father in the crowd–a small blessing, as no parent should live to see a son’s death. Even more so when he’d committed suicide. Grabbed a gun, let the black hole of desperation drench his mind and pulled the trigger. The maid said he’d cursed one name right before he ended all: Summer.

Pain and anger rattled through Lilith Chapman. Along with Stephen’s brain, her heart had shattered that day.

Lilith had known she could save him, had always known. With time, she’d have made him forget he’d ever loved anybody but her.

He didn’t give her time.

His sister had pressed him to visit doctors. Depression, she’d called it.

Bullshit.

Love killed Stephen.

Sweet Stephen. A gentle, caring soul who only wanted affection and care. No harsh word ever left his mouth; his hands knew no fists.

With him, Lilith never had to face fear. She knew all about it thanks to her father first, and her deceased husband later. Not with Stephen. Never with him. For the first time in her life, she’d been the strong one, the one leading. Day after day she’d listened to him, to the winnings and the losses of a man who possessed everything. Money, power, a place in society. Not someone to share it with, though. Until, silly man, he’d believed he’d found The One: Doctor Summer Williams. A woman who had left him with a few words and no remorse.

Lilith had heard his heart shatter with a singing soul. With patience, had watched Stephen spiraling down and downer in a place always darker and more desperate. She only had to wait. Once he hit the bottom, he’d realize Summer was not worth it. Stephen would finally open his eyes and see her, Lilith.

At the bottom though, he’d found a gun.

And now she had nothing.

Sure, he’d left money to her, a lot of it, enough she didn’t have to worry about working or anything else anymore. Too bad she didn’t care for it.

She wanted Stephen, but Summer Williams had taken him away forever.

And for that, Lilith would bring tears and blood.

Summer’s tears and blood.

She, Lilith, was going to own his final words of hate, carry on his vengeance and make sure Summer Williams witnessed the crumbling of her world. Everyone she held dear would perish in front of her eyes. And then Lilith could go to him where they would be together. Forever.

“I promise you,” she whispered to the burning casket. “I promise you, love will kill again.”

FanGirl Forever

You should have seen me when I found this little gem in Dollar Tree. I had to contain my giddy voice and behavior while making sure to put two of these babies in my basket before anyone else could grab them.

I’ve had the fortune to meet Jason Momoa a few times at fan events. At one of them, I spent a lot of time with him, including having breakfast with him. He remembered me, too. When he would pass me in the hall he’d yell out “Connecticut!”. It was awesome.

At that event and every other one, he was exactly the man you think he is. Gorgeous. Hyperactive. Hilariously funny. A little goofy. And did I say extremely gorgeous?

Of course, intellectually I knew that no one was going to snatch the bags out of my hands, but my excited fangirl-self wasn’t going to take a chance. I mean: Jason Momoa. Aquaman. Can you blame me?

My only regret is not buying three.

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