#MFRWAuthors

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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Their First Kiss #SexySnippets

Today's 7 sentence sexy snippet is from House of the Rising Son. It's the first kiss between Cheyenne (the hero and incubus) and Alexander, the human who is inexplicably drawn to him. Well, at least inexplicable to Alexander.


He wanted Cheyenne--the surprise was it never occurred to him he’d have the chance to do anything about it. But here he was, looking into the eyes of the person he’d fantasized about for months, the person who’d already set his life on edge. How many chances would he get if he blew this one and then regretted it?

He tilted his head, leaned down and pressed his lips against the smaller man’s. Cheyenne kissed him back, parting Alexander’s lips with his tongue and slipping inside.

The hunger that Alexander had buried for so long ignited in the kiss and melted away any lingering doubt. This felt more than right—kissing Cheyenne felt like home.


 

It Was Always Love

A wall in my bedroom
A wall in my bedroom

I'm a writer. There has always been something cathartic in telling a story. So in the midst of incredible sadness I am sharing my story with you.

My partner says that she went to the movies with a friend one day to see whatever show happened to be playing and ended up seeing Purple Rain, a movie that changed her forever. From that moment on she was obsessed--still is--and thanks Prince for much of the joy she's had in her life.

My path was not as direct. He had to touch my life three times before I listened.

1979

Thank you for a funky time, call me  up...

On my way to high school driving the first of two cars given to me by my father, the song I Wanna Be Your Lover came on. The music was okay, but the lyrics made my head spin. Chock full of double entendres (I wanna be the only one to make you come...running), I couldn't get it out of my head for days. But trying to balance my perfectionist compulsion with wanting to fit in with my peers had turned high school into a three year long hurricane for me. I had a hard enough time holding on to my shit--I couldn't add one more thing to my burden.

1984

Somebody please tell me what the hell is wrong

The second time I became aware of Prince was when Purple Rain came out. I was newly married and in an unfamiliar place with no friends. I don't have memory of going to or being in the theater (my memory often fails me when it comes to very emotional moments), but I remember  buying a beta max copy of the movie as soon as it came out. I coveted that fat short rectangular box (I still have it), but for reasons I can't explain, I never watched it.

The third time, as they say, was the charm.

1987

In my darkest hour, you can be my bliss

I took a job two hours away from my home and my husband and lived with my mother. I had a great time. I loved my job, had some adventures with my mom (like driving 45 minutes to buy a pizza that boasted cheese UNDER the sauce, not over it), and spent time with my sister and brother and their families. Moreover, every other weekend I honeymooned with my husband. Life moved along pretty smoothly.

Except at night. I started having nightmares. At first they came infrequently, and I barely remembered them. As time went on they grew more frequent and more horrifying. Eventually I had bad dreams every night. There seemed to be two themes--black roses and elevators. Black rose dreams woke me up crying.  Elevator dreams were worse.

I know now that I was reliving sexual abuse I'd experienced as a child. I was in the same room, largely unchanged--the purple walls I'd begged for, music and academic awards (evidence of my hyper-vigilent perfection), and the bed. The bed.

Any time I was alone with my thoughts I thought about dying. What death would feel like. All the years of my nephews and nieces lives that I'd miss. Pieces of my nightmares started to come to me during the day. I searched continually for distractions, trying to save myself. One day I saw an ad in the newspaper about an upcoming Prince concert. I remembered his movie and that song, and how they made me feel. I really wanted to go, but not alone. My sister told me her husband was a big fan (her, not so much) and that he'd probably go with me if I had my heart set. He did.

October 1988

Do you want him, or do you want me?

We had tickets in the Nosebleed Section because we'd gotten them so late, but it didn't matter. The entire arena was filled by the presence of the little, ethereally beautiful man on the stage. I was captivated--couldn't take my eyes off of him. But the music transformed me. He sang of love and sensuality and peace and God and sex. His voice resonated, reverberated throughout my body. I sometimes make a joke, saying if he'd asked me that night for all of my worldly possessions I would have given them to him. But it was the truth.

The next day I went to every record store I could find and bought every tape Prince had ever released. I drove around for hours listening to his music. He didn't become "the soundtrack of my life". He became my reason to keep living.

1991

I want to jump for joy and thank him I'm not alone

I'd gotten a bigger and better job and moved back with my husband. While stalking a record store (my new hobby), I came across Prince's official fan magazine, Controversy. Not only was it heaven on the page with big, color, never before seen pictures of him, but it had a pen pal section. Suddenly, I wasn't alone. I'd found my tribe--men and women who experienced Prince the way I did.  Miraculously, the first person I connected with became my partner. I like to say Prince gave her to me.

Present day

Can't begin to understand how I feel about you, everything I want to do I can't do without you

My life is filled with good friends who I connect with over songs and youtube clips, through marriages and divorce, through children and grandchildren, over the mountains that life put in front of our best efforts and under the bridges that we've fallen from. When we're happy, we listen to his music and watch his movies. When we're sad, we do the same. Since his passing, we cling to each other and assure ourselves we'll get through this, and that we'll find joy again.

FullSizeRender 4
FullSizeRender 4

I've seen Prince in concert over one hundred times. I have every song he's released, and sometimes multiple versions thereof. My partner and I celebrate his milestones--birthdays, awards, performances. Our annual Super Bowl parties celebrate his 2007 award-winning appearance. Many of our milestones are commemorated with concerts that hold special meaning. There is not one room in our home in which he's not evident, either in fact or by influence. (We're still trying to figure out how to put the Shower Poster in the bathroom.)

My friends and I are asking questions of ourselves and each other. Where do we go from  here? Who will we be, if not Prince Fans? How will it feel to not look forward to his next album, the next concert, the next TV appearance?

The only answer is that his music is a part of us. It's in our cells and are the songs in the background of everything. Our experiences with him and because of him live on.

  • Getting his autograph in NYC and almost fainting because we thought he'd levitated, a tiny angel dressed in white.
  • Nearly being "rear-ended" by him in MPLS because he was driving too fast and we were going too slow.
  • Hearing gunshot and fearing for our lives as we left Glam Slam, his former club.
  • Flying to England for concerts and spending a sleepless night at the only after show I've attended.
  • Going to his store in MPLS so many times the manager told his staff "Play whatever videos they want to see".
  • Grieving with him, from a distance, when he lost his child.
  • Meeting our pen pals. (LOVE YOU ALL)
  • Standing outside at 2am in line for a show, with some of the craziest and friendliest people we've ever met.

Never say the words "They're gone"

The world is off its axis. I already miss him. My heart aches, and in quiet moments it's hard to breathe. I'm not ready to watch all of the tributes. I can't even listen to his songs without overwhelming sadness. But I'm ready, finally, to say a few things to him.

Dearest Prince,

I am ever grateful for the beautiful ways you've touched (saved) my life and for all of the people that are in it because of you. I'm thankful for your music which fuels my soul. 

There was no way you could have known, but it was always love. I've been blessed to have shared the planet with you.

I wish you heaven. 

#Egg-cerpt Exchange: Carmen Stefanescu

eggs Authors from all over the world are celebrating the season by guesting on each other's blogs--an Egg-cerpt Exchange. I'm excited to have on LAM today poet and author Carmen Stefanescu to tell us about her book, SHADOWS OF THE PAST.

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About Carmen:

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Shadows of the Past, paranormal/light romance/light mystery/light horror was released at the end of 2012 by Wild Child publishing, USA.

Learn more about Carmen at:

http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

https://twitter.com/Carmen_Books

http://www.pinterest.com/carmens007/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624397.Carmen_Stefanescu

https://plus.google.com/117216040843648957646/posts

http://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Stefanescu/e/B00APVDGAA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

About SHADOWS OF THE PAST:

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Genre: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light horror.

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic. The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

SHADOWS OF THE PAST CAN BE FOUND AT:

Wild Child Publishing

AMAZON

All Romance

Barnes and Noble

Five Questions for Genevieve:

  1. Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable Miss...

"Genevieve. My name is Genevieve, but Sister Clementa, the Abbess, and some of her followers call me The witch."

  1. Tell me, Genevieve, where are you living?

Genevieve ( a small sigh escapes her lips. Then she shrugs) "Well, for the moment I reside at St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of a mountain in Britain, in the...cursed forest."

  1. Do you have any schooling?

Genevieve (nods and pats and invisible crease of her dress) "Kind Old Bertha, who took care of me after my family perished, taught me to read and write. Not only English but also Latin. And, most important, she taught me how to prepare healing potions from plants and herbs. Perhaps that’s why the Abbess hates me so much. A peasant girl of the 13th century is dangerous if she knows more than her superiors, I think."

  1. What are your worst fears or nightmare?

Genevieve (throws a shy look around her. She shivers and her voice is small) "I fear the cursed forest. This forest is responsible for what happened to my family. My father’s odd behavior, the death of my siblings. All the evil that lurks in it.

My nightmare - the Abbess, sister Clementa, who threatens me all the time with sending me to the stake. I can’t understand why she wants me out of the way."

  1. Is it anything that you secretly desire?

Genevieve (blushes and wrings her hands. Then she looks me directly in the eyes. Her voice is strong now. ) "To become Andrew’s wife and grow a family. If his family agrees....If the Abbess lets me go... If God forgives me for giving up being a nun.....If I escape alive from the forest.... If....”

 

  1. Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable Miss...

"Genevieve. My name is Genevieve, but Sister Clementa, the Abbess, and some of her followers call me The witch."

  1. Tell me, Genevieve, where are you living?

Genevieve ( a small sigh escapes her lips. Then she shrugs) "Well, for the moment I reside at St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of a mountain in Britain, in the...cursed forest."

  1. Do you have any schooling?

Genevieve (nods and pats and invisible crease of her dress) "Kind Old Bertha, who took care of me after my family perished, taught me to read and write. Not only English but also Latin. And, most important, she taught me how to prepare healing potions from plants and herbs. Perhaps that’s why the Abbess hates me so much. A peasant girl of the 13th century is dangerous if she knows more than her superiors, I think."

  1. What are your worst fears or nightmare?

Genevieve (throws a shy look around her. She shivers and her voice is small) "I fear the cursed forest. This forest is responsible for what happened to my family. My father’s odd behavior, the death of my siblings. All the evil that lurks in it.

My nightmare - the Abbess, sister Clementa, who threatens me all the time with sending me to the stake. I can’t understand why she wants me out of the way."

  1. Is it anything that you secretly desire?

Genevieve (blushes and wrings her hands. Then she looks me directly in the eyes. Her voice is strong now. ) "To become Andrew’s wife and grow a family. If his family agrees....If the Abbess lets me go... If God forgives me for giving up being a nun.....If I escape alive from the forest.... If....”

 

  1. Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable Miss...

"Genevieve. My name is Genevieve, but Sister Clementa, the Abbess, and some of her followers call me The witch."

  1. Tell me, Genevieve, where are you living?

Genevieve ( a small sigh escapes her lips. Then she shrugs) "Well, for the moment I reside at St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of a mountain in Britain, in the...cursed forest."

  1. Do you have any schooling?

Genevieve (nods and pats and invisible crease of her dress) "Kind Old Bertha, who took care of me after my family perished, taught me to read and write. Not only English but also Latin. And, most important, she taught me how to prepare healing potions from plants and herbs. Perhaps that’s why the Abbess hates me so much. A peasant girl of the 13th century is dangerous if she knows more than her superiors, I think."

  1. What are your worst fears or nightmare?

Genevieve (throws a shy look around her. She shivers and her voice is small) "I fear the cursed forest. This forest is responsible for what happened to my family. My father’s odd behavior, the death of my siblings. All the evil that lurks in it.

My nightmare - the Abbess, sister Clementa, who threatens me all the time with sending me to the stake. I can’t understand why she wants me out of the way."

  1. Is it anything that you secretly desire?

Genevieve (blushes and wrings her hands. Then she looks me directly in the eyes. Her voice is strong now. ) "To become Andrew’s wife and grow a family. If his family agrees....If the Abbess lets me go... If God forgives me for giving up being a nun.....If I escape alive from the forest.... If....”