Pitch Wars Update- A Writing About Writing

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” -Mary Tyler Moore

Earlier this month I submitted my very first novel to PitchWars (HERE) in hopes of snagging a mentor that will help me shape it into the master piece that I see in my mind. Well, I did not get in. Which is fine. I am actually in the majority and did not take it very hard.

The day after submitting my first ten pages for consideration, I attended a writing conference (which I wrote about HERE). I was able to tweak my in person pitch, tighten my query letter, and found some very GLARING problems within the first few pages of my work and even some throughout.

These are VICTORIES for me. They are not setbacks. I knew I had a lot of work to do, but I also know that it will be worth it to see Apparent Power within a cover and in my hands. My premise sparks interest with agents and now I have to wow them with my hardly more than mediocre writing.

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Though I am so excited about my new book, Apparent Power is my baby and I cannot wait for Valerie’s story to be available to the masses. You can preview it HERE.

So while I balance work, kids, and life, I guess it’s back to late nights in September editing and writing on my lunch break.

If you are a writer and have experienced rejection or are being hard on yourself (its a vicious cycle, we all do it) take a breath and say “I won’t learn if I don’t try. If I fail, I will know why and work to fix it.” You are in control of your emotions. You are in control of your actions. You can be defeated or you can have your beverage of choice, maybe cry a bit if that’s your thing, and then you suck it up and drive on. Your writing goal is not stupid or unrealistic. It takes a special person to keep going, and I think you’re pretty special. Good Luck!

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The Condition of the Railroad Wife (But this may also apply to you)…

I talk a lot about Tribe in regards to parenting, wifing, working, writing, etc. It is a very particular group of people that “get” the aspect of your life that is unique to the general population. Of these, I find the railroad wives to be my biggest cheerleaders. An even smaller group (you know who you are because I know you’re reading this), is a handful of women, rough around the edges, that fight like mad to keep their families together in the face of the struggles of being married to a RR.

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What a dummy.. 

I have noticed that on social media there is a small group of ladies that are willing to be brutally honest about their feelings towards their husbands in regards to their profession. If you are not familiar with the dynamics of having a RR for a spouse, you can check these Six Facts (HERE) or this short story (HERE).

There is another group of women that praise every ounce of their husbands being. While I am not apart of this group, I will approach them with sensitivity, as I am sure that a couple of things may be true

  1. They actually found and married that tiny percent of person that has such small trivial flaws and they are genuinely so happy, that they live to make it up to that person for being so perfect.
  2. God tells us to support our husbands 100% as the head of the household. They dare not speak ill of their other half, especially in questionable company.
  3. They simply do not use social media to vent. Period. Fair enough.

Again, I am very much apart of the first group, and they have A LOT to say. The groups I am apart of are a safe place to cry, laugh, ask for advice, or simply just vent about what frustrates us to others that not only understand, but can validate our frustrations. The railroad exasperates every domestic dispute.

There are spouses out there that are perfect, but most are not. I am nowhere near being perfect. But to women, both working or staying home, that fight this unfair battle of equality within the walls of their home. This seems to be a theme of a lot of women I talk to. Smart, educated, strong women. Every person deserves respect but most of all, married people deserve respect for each other. They married forever, and that is far too long to spend feeling unequal, and dependant. It is okay to be financially dependant on someone else, but not to the point where one feels completely helpless without the other.

A lot of times, we are expected to hold things down at home 24/7 while the other person is sleeping in a silent hotel, free of responsibilities, or little people that constantly fight you over the smallest things like putting their shoes on EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING!!! And then, some come home and expect it to continue. Yes, they they brought home the bacon while they slept peacefully in that hotel, but when one has kids, there is no peace. lol

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What I really want to say to you, the one reading this waiting for your RR to come or go, is that you deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy with your RR. You jumped into this life with them with the intent to get through the hard stuff, and to make each other better people. You deserve to be respected. You are not dumb, useless, horrible, a bitch, or insufferable. You might be a little crazy, because I don’t know one of us that isn’t just a little batty. But getting through this is not beyond the two of you. You just both have to agree to keep working on it, and only give up when you know you’ve reached your limit.

Encourage other RR spouses to join these groups. Please for the love of everything read the pinned posts of the rules and expectations of the page before you post a single thing. All groups are different. Some allow gratuitous cursing, others do not allow it at all.  Find one that suits you and cling to that tribe.

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Lastly, I will leave you with this. Domestic violence is NOT okay. Emotional abuse is NOT okay. My best friend was murdered Christmas Morning 2010 while I was away at war. If you are unsure if you need assistance you can read HERE for Six Facts about domestic violence.

 

I’m Writing a New Book

I know how much most everyone LOOOVES Apparent Power and Valerie’s journey, but I am taking a much needed break from my first loves. I have decided to write a dark paranormal story and exercise what I learned from the Ghost Town Writer’s Retreat a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say, it is nothing like what I have written to date.

I came upon this idea in bed when I got the vision for the opening scene. It is horrifying and beautiful and creepy. Aside from that, I have a basic idea of how this will play out, but not too sure exactly what the story will hold. Last night I thought about it so much, I started to creep myself out.

Like Apparent Power, Cam and Neph (a working title) will be available in its very rough stages on ChapterBuzz.com. This will probably be my subject matter for the October 10,000 word challenge as well as my first NaNoWriMo entry.

All feedback is appreciated.

Cam and Neph is an Adult Paranormal novel about a brother and sister that are demi-demon/demi-angel twins. During birth, each were touched by the other transferring a small amount of the opposite qualities to the other. The demon holds a little light; the angel holds a little darkness. This is how their story begins.

She moaned, shook, and rolled to her left and right in the pitch black. Lying on the cold, dank concrete in a basement, her swollen abdomen contracted. Black tar poured onto the floor, covering the red inked pentagram drawing that she lay on. The girl’s legs opened wide and her moan escalated to a scream of excruciating pain. From her birth canal came both light and darkness. Louder her scream grew until the light and dark burst from between her thighs.

The light filled most of the room, banishing the damp cold and mildew from what it touched. The cherub she birthed rose into the air and stretched its thick baby arms and legs. Small lips parted into a yawn and then to a smile as it looked down at its surrogate. The girl lay motionless staring at the tiny baby with wings that radiated purity, warmth, and light. The girl raised her hand to it as a tear fell from the corner of her eye in awe and fear of it.

A black liquid leaked from her womb. In the dark pool lay a ball of thin limbs, a scant torso and a head too large in proportion to the tiny black body. Instead of a cry, a hoarse screech came from the ugly being on the floor. Many arms reached from a still dark corner of the room, clawing toward the mass, grabbing arms, legs, and pulling the defiled fetus into the darkness with them. Light extended to the corner and the dark beings were banished from the room, but not before the light touched the new demon’s right knee, paling the once black surface. Then it disappeared to the place where the others hide. The black liquid began to boil on the ground, fighting against the light. It bubbled and popped in its turbulence. When touched by the light, it splashed into the air, licking the cherub on its right knee, leaving a dark mark where the skin had once been pale.

Light prevailed against the dark, cleansing the floor of the black tarry-like fluid, the pentagram faded, even dirt held no place. The cherub reached back and lifted the girl from the floor. Water and light enveloped her, cleansing her body and soul of the treachery done to her for this purpose. She was wrapped in a white cloth and lowered gently to the ground, purified and made anew. The angelic creature lowered as well, into the girls arms. Its wings faded and he nestled against the girl’s breast. The light faded into a dim glow of morning. The girl was a mother. The once cherub, a helpless babe with a dark mark on his right knee.

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Six Fact Sunday- Ghost Town Writer’s Retreat

If you follow me anywhere like Twitter (HERE) FaceBook (HERE) or Instagram (HERE), you know that I have spent the weekend at my very first Writer’s Retreat. I met the most amazing group of like minded amateurs, professionals, and experts. Even though it was a horror writer’s deal, writers from across all genres were represented. Lucky for me, most of them are local to Denver and mix in circles that I have recently joined.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I did a Sunday post, but being new to the world of writing and publishing, I have learned soooo much! And here it is:

  1.  EVERY WRITER NEEDS TO GO TO A CONFERENCE!!! You will find your tribe. If it’s 2 or 200 people, you will find SOMEONE if not most people believe in you and your work because they know what it takes to get there. They know the hours you have put into pouring over you manuscript until you could quote it in your sleep. They know the struggles of networking, pitching, querying. Whatever stage you are in, a lot of them have been there and will cheer you on.

Theses people are so amazing. Writing a book is hard, and getting your book out there is even more difficult. The writing community is one of solidarity. Others recognize that you put in the hard work and wrote to tell the tale. Beautiful hearts, theses folks.

2.   I learned how to scare people with written words. This I am super excited about. I received tips from horror writing superstars, on how to make grown people pee their pants . I also learned that true crime is glamorized in fiction. Most of the books or TV shows you watch that are “based on a true story” are 75% bullshat.

3. I learned how to talk about my book in a way that makes others excited. The biggest compliment I have received all weekend is that they loooove the premise of my story and cannot wait to read it. COMPLETE STRANGERS want to read my story. (I am floored).

4. (On the note of number 3) I learned how to query and how to pitch my book to an agent in person. I also learned how NOT to by one ridiculously famous editor. He, despite correcting my in person pitch, asked me for my manuscript. I almost cried.

5. After MANY changes, I finally hammered down the true genre of my book. It is Speculative/ Crisis Thriller. This is the first time I have felt it’s been properly labeled.

6. I Have A LOT of work to do. To include a mad amount of writing… Like 8-13k more words to actually qualify to be the genre I intend. I am humble enough to accept that my novel needs work. I did not expect to just do one round of edits and be done. I’ve put hard work into it, I won’t give up until it’s finished.

 

Of course, I have learned and experienced much more than those 6 things, but I am mentally exhausted and ready to get back to my kiddos and the mister. I miss them like crazy. So, hopefully I will have a good short and scary for you later this week. But until then…

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Community Helped Me Write Smut

pitchwarsIf you do not recall a couple of months ago, I was having quite the trouble writing a much need s-e-x scene into my novel, Apparent Power. All the tension was there, as was the opportunity, I was just soooo uncomfortable. You can read about it HERE.

I also posted about building my Author Platform, if you need a refresher on that one it can be found HERE. So I created a Twitter Account and started my search for like-minded folks to help me out on this. I accidently stumbled across #pitchwars just as I had finished my first draft of Apparent Power. I quickly found that I had exactly one month to get my ish together to submit my manuscript in hopes of being mentored by experienced authors and writers in my genre.

WHAT A MOTIVATOR!!!

Not only did it stick to my personal timelines of submitting to agents, but it kept me focused to do all the edits needed to make it awesome. I also found that where I was lacking in areas, others were master crafts(wo)men. Not only that but the entire PitchWars community is one of sharing and caring. (Thank you Brenda Drake for fostering an atmosphere of positive self-growth for so many).

I will try to remember EVERYONE that helped me along the way.

Jordyn Jacobs– Thank you for your help with my synopsis

Royce Sears– Fellow Veteran and writer. Cheers brother and good luck! I hope this book is your Merlin!

Rachel Dahl– It was nice to meet you neighbor!!! Thank you for your help, coffee is on me!

K J Harrowick– Thank you for showing a newbie the ropes of ASFF

S M O’Connell– early help with my query and just talking me down off the ledge of the trash can lol

all the mentors, more mentors, the FOUR mentors (you know which mentors you are now)

And lastly Willow!!! Willow talked me into writing the smut. She was so gentle and understanding of my first time. She eased me into it and I found it to not be as scary as I thought. I actually really liked it.. THE WRITING PEOPLE!!! Willow- thank you for sharing your talent with me and encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone to add a few hundred more words to my manuscript.

Run to Twitter #pitchwars to see all the excitement

All that said, I won’t know until the end of August if a mentor picks my story. The odds are against me, but there is still a chance. I am humble enough to know that this opportunity is invaluable. If you see me about on social media, wish me luck!!!

 

This is My Truth Now

Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now

Now that I have submitted my book, I need a distraction. Time to hop back on the blog and make up for an entire missed month!!!

 

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I am very thankful for being tagged for This is My Truth Now  I apologize it has taken me so long to complete it. Thank you Angie!

The Rules

  1. Create your own new post and call it “Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now” and be sure to include in your tags the words — without quotes — “ThisIsMyTruthNow Tag”
  2. Include these rules when you copy/paste into your own post.
  3. Be sure to thank the person that tagged you and include their responses at the bottom of your post, so someone can get to know them too. Tell everyone something interesting about the person who tagged you.
  4. Include a link to my original post mentioning this blog so we can see how many people choose to play along. Link to cut/paste is:  BrizzleLass
  5. Choose 12 bloggers to tag and include a link to their latest post, so others can check them out and meet new people.
  6. Answer all 12 questions in The Challenge Questions section, but replace the 12th question with your own new one around telling the truth or revealing something interesting about yourself — you can leave the existing if you can’t think of anything.
  7. Be sure to copy/paste the “Truth or Dare” section at the end of this post. It’s important to the challenge — so you better carefully read it!
  8. If you’ve haven’t been tagged, but you want to play along, you can totally jump on in and post responses to the tag on your blog.

The Challenge Questions

  1. You’re on your way to a birthday dinner that your friends have thrown for you. When you arrive, your favorite author is having dinner by himself or herself and asks you to sit with them, before you even see your friends or they see you. You have two choices: (1) You can sit with the author, but can’t tell your friends that you’ve abandoned them for three hours, or (2) Meet your friends and lose the only chance you’ll ever have to talk with the author. Pick one or the other — no exceptions or communication with your friends to tell them about the author — and explain why.
    • I actually find this situation unrealistic and will break the rules for the better good of all. It’s not fair that my favorite author should not join me for my birthday celebration. Don’t put me in a box. I don’t fit.
  2. You’ve got an opportunity to spend a few hours alone “in your bedroom” with a character from any book you’ve previously read. The character tells you that (s)he would like to lock the door and spend some alone time with you. What book and character is it, and do you decide to enter the room and lock the door, or tell them you aren’t interested?
    • Jon Snow from A Song of Fire and Ice. And the answer is no. I would not lock the door with him because I am a happily married woman. Instead I would make him use my elliptical while he said “Indubitably” and I laughed hysterically.
  3. If you could turn any male character from one of your favorite books into a female character (or change a female into a male) in the book or book series, which one and why?
    • Every Dean Kuntz book, male leads into female leads. The genre needs it.
  4. What blogger currently on your follower’s list (meaning they follow you too) do you admire the most and why?
    • JULES!!! Oh this woman makes me laugh and cry and has the strength of every single mama of such a beautiful and smart young woman. She is also the only person to have taken a burlesque class and wrote to tell the tale
  5. If you could change any one decision your favorite book character made, what would it be and why?
    • Nick Dunne would have really killed that crazy bish… LAWD (Gone Girl)
  6. If you could pick 1 character from a book and 1 character from a TV show you watch (that is NOT based on a book) to be in a relationship together, who would you choose, and why?
    • Ned Stark and Sean Bean’s character in Pixels hahahahaha
  7. It’s your last day on Earth. As you are about to cross that final finish line, a mysterious shadow appears, giving you a choice: (1) You can go move forward to whatever comes next for you [based on your own spiritual or religious beliefs], or (2) you can become a character in a book series and exist permanently doing whatever that author chooses to do with you in the book. Which do you choose, and if it’s option 2, reveal the book and author.
    • Option 1 unless said shadow gave me a chance to read more books to find a happy ending.
  8. If you could steal a pet from someone in any book you’ve read, but had to replace it with a friend’s pet (meaning they wouldn’t ever see their pet again), would you do it?  If so, explain the who and why.
    • I would replace my dad’s tiny whimpy dog with the tiger from The Walking Dead. (Yes this was a (graphic) novel first)
  9. If you could turn someone from your real life into a character from a book, who from your life, who in the book and why?
    • My sister would easily be Emma Bloom in Miss Peregrine’s… She’s a fireball, that girl lol
  10. Post a picture of the cover of a book you read in 2000 and the book you are currently reading now. (Note: if you weren’t alive in 2000, pick the first book you ever read and tell everyone what year it was from).
    • Currently Reading

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    • 2000 Read

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  1. Your favorite character (under 18) needs a place to stay for 3 months and asks you if (s)he could stay in your spare room (yes, you have one for the sake of this question). Who is it and what is the reason (s)he needs to stay with you?
  • The little girl from The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, because CPS is investigating her parents for letting that poor baby get lost in the woods.

12  If your life was a book title, what would it be? (Note: This is the question each person can change when they tag their own nominees)

  • Oh Yes She Did

 

Question for my nominees: . Do you set 1 year, 5 year, 10 year goals? What are they?

Angie’s Answers

  1. You’re on your way to a birthday dinner that your friends have thrown for you. When you arrive, your favorite author is having dinner by himself or herself and asks you to sit with them, before you even see your friends or they see you. You have two choices: (1) You can sit with the author, but can’t tell your friends that you’ve abandoned them for three hours, or (2) Meet your friends and lose the only chance you’ll ever have to talk with the author. Pick one or the other — no exceptions or communication with your friends to tell them about the author — and explain why.
    • Sit with the author! My friends would totally understand.
  2. You’ve got an opportunity to spend a few hours alone “in your bedroom” with a character from any book you’ve previously read. The character tells you that (s)he would like to lock the door and spend some alone time with you. What book and character is it, and do you decide to enter the room and lock the door, or tell them you aren’t interested?
    • Trevor Jackson from Mackenzie’s Distraction  Lock the door!
  3. If you could turn any male character from one of your favorite books into a female character (or change a female into a male) in the book or book series, which one and why?
    • That is a tough one. I can’t think of one I’d switch, but I think I would have liked the book “Follow the River” better if it would have been written by a woman. It was an interesting book, but the main character didn’t have the thoughts that she would’ve had if she would’ve been written by a female.
  4. What blogger currently on your follower’s list (meaning they follow you too) do you admire the most and why?
    • I really don’t like this question, I like all my followers and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Shanannigans at Reads & Reels. I think we would be great friends if we ever met in person. I love reading her reviews. Amy and Chelsea at novelgossip and thesuspenseisthrillingme are two others that I really enjoy reading their reviews.
  5. If you could change any one decision your favorite book character made, what would it be and why?
    • Tris would not have protected her brother in Allegiant.
  6. If you could pick 1 character from a book and 1 character from a TV show you watch (that is NOT based on a book) to be in a relationship together, who would you choose, and why?
    • I hardly ever watch TV shows, so I’m really not sure.
  7. It’s your last day on Earth. As you are about to cross that final finish line, a mysterious shadow appears, giving you a choice: (1) You can go move forward to whatever comes next for you [based on your own spiritual or religious beliefs], or (2) you can become a character in a book series and exist permanently doing whatever that author chooses to do with you in the book. Which do you choose, and if it’s option 2, reveal the book and author.
    • I’m going with option 1. But if I went with option 2, I’d be in the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout!
  8. If you could steal a pet from someone in any book you’ve read, but had to replace it with a friend’s pet (meaning they wouldn’t ever see their pet again), would you do it?  If so, explain the who and why.
    • No, that would just be too cruel.
  9. If you could turn someone from your real life into a character from a book, who from your life, who in the book and why?
    • My daughter Jourdan would be Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Distraction. Why? Because my daughter did make changes in her life, like Mackenzie. Now we are waiting for her to find her Trevor. LOL  Or my son, Jacob would be Zayne from Roadside. Because my son reminds me of Zayne due to his karate skills and the fact that he wants to be a lawyer.
  10. Post a picture of the cover of a book you read in 2000 and the book you are currently reading now. (Note: if you weren’t alive in 2000, pick the first book you ever read and tell everyone what year it was from).
    • Currently Reading

aaaa

    • 2000 Read

aaaaa

  1. Your favorite character (under 18) needs a place to stay for 3 months and asks you if (s)he could stay in your spare room (yes, you have one for the sake of this question). Who is it and what is the reason (s)he needs to stay with you?
  • Katie from the Lux series. She’s trying to hide from The Department of Defense because they know about her and Daemon.
  1. Which of the 365 Daily Challenge posts most describes you? To see them all, you can go here. (Note: This is the question each person can change when they tag their own nominees)
    • Purple; for so many reasons. I’ve loved the color purple since I was so young that I’d couldn’t say the word properly. I called it something like “purpde” according to my family. It is my go to color for clothes, flowers, almost anything. I just love it. It’s beautiful and makes me smile.

 

My Nominations

  1. Tim
  2. Liz
  3. Marcus
  4. Stevi
  5. Andrea
  6. Aleta
  7. Liberty
  8. Andrew
  9. Kiwinadian
  10. Steven Bosley
  11. Milly Schmidt
  12. Small Town Mama

Truth or Dare

Here is the final part of the ThisIsMyTruthNow tag…If you choose not to accept the tag, you have to follow through on whatever dare the person who tags you chooses — for my nominees, if you choose not to do this tag, your dare is to reblog this post and tell your friends J.

 

Pimp My Bio- PitchWars 2017

Pimp My Bio- Pitch Wars 2017

I have missed my blog so much this month while tightening up my novel, APPARENT POWER. It is an Adult thriller with elements of light science fiction, and some very complicated relationships. I just imagined all those folks that made book-to-movies so popular, figured they had grown up and possibly had kids, and wrote a book that they would love but relate to as adults. What’s not in the book? Cheating. Also there are no space ships, robots, or magic. Just some very clever science.

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MY BOOK APPARENT POWER:

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An apocalyptic disaster awakens a dormant gene in a quarter of the world’s population. With an even rarer gene, the life of an emergency room nurse has turned into a race against time.

Stranded in southern Colorado, a hundred miles from home—and from her two-year-old son—Valerie’s genetics are essential in a government plot for domination: morphing into a worldwide totalitarian regime. She tries desperately to get home to her family, avoid capture, and figure out how to defeat the dark, rising power that so badly wants her. Valerie must fight her moral code and decide to help the masses or save her family.

WHY YOU WANT TO MOLD APPARENT POWER INTO THE NEXT BREAKOUT STORY:

 

A Bad ass MC that is believable and dynamic

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And the Suspense… So much SUSPENSE

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And what about me?

-I actually like putting my work out there for feedback.

-I work extremely hard and meet deadlines. And with the opportunity of a life time, I plan on doing absolutely everything to make this novel the best it can be.

-I am hyper-productive and aim to please.

-I understand how to take direction from people who are designated in their craft (I know you know what you are doing and won’t fight you over your keen observations)

-I communicate. I sooo communicate. I’m the most communicating communicator that has ever communicated.

-I am so ready to do all the things to make this publishing dream come true.

-I drink so much coffee.

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Quirks?

-I see my story as it would play out in a movie, and my writing reflects that (hopefully not to my detriment).

-I speak 6 languages conversationally.. Like, I know how to say “Hi, how are you? I’m tired. I need coffee” in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Swahili, and Russian.

-Being a veteran, I have friends in at least 24 different major cities and 6 countries that I hope to do book signings in.

 

Why you should pick me?

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I am a woman, a veteran, a medical professional, and a mother. I have navigated areas of the world bent on destroying me.

One night at work, we received a bomb threat. Nurses came to me, knowing my background and asked me what I would do if something happened. I said, “I am not sure, but I am going home tonight. I’m going home and tucking my kids into their beds.”

If you have children, imagine for a moment that sh!t hit the fan and you were 100 miles away. You would fight. You would do everything you could physically do to ensure their safety. That is the strength and passion that I have poured into my pages.

Otherwise, I am a super fun person to hang out with!

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