Hi :)

Hi everyone! I’ve so busy with work that I haven’t had a chance to sit down and discuss with all of you the best and most frustrating moments from “Breaking Point”. I would love to hear your reactions and questions and as always, I thrive on feedback.

Over the next few days, I will posting a few blog updates and I have a question I would like to ask. I’m going to post a character and I want to know what you think about that character. What do you love about them? Hate? Wish you knew more about? Wonder about? Worry about?

I will be replying in a way like I did when I ‘interviewed’ the characters. It helps me so much to do things like this because sometimes I need to see the characters from your perspective, and not my own.

I think I might attempt to do some of the characters that aren’t so good…Rebecca? Nick? Chris? maybe Janet?

Hmmmmmmm

Bridget?

Which character shall begin our talk…

Suggestions?

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Now Available

A new compilation is now available just in time for the holidays! Please click on the pictures below to purchase any of the three compilations.

Books 11-15 below!

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Books 6-10 below

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Books 1-5 below

comp cover

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Wounded Warriors Blog Hop!

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I am so happy to be a part of the Wounded Warriors Blog Hop! Please click the picture to go to the page and see how you can help.

I am also giving away a copy of EVERY SINGLE ONE of my ebooks to a lucky reader. That’s 18 books in total! All you have to do is comment to this post right here and leave your name and email address. The entire cost of the books will be donated by me to the woundedwarriorsproject.org.

Please check them out and donate if you can. This is a cause that is near and dear to me and I would love any and all support.

Creating Bill and Mike has been a joy to me and being able to bring a little part of my immense respect and support of the military into my series has been super important to me. Bill was created out of respect to my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Herman Nadler. He was a career military man and was one of the men leading the charge at the battle at Normandy. He was an inspiration to me and I hope Bill and Mike honor that legacy.

The contest is open today and tomorrow only. Please enter and if you are already a fan of my books, I would be happy to gift books to anyone you want.

Also- an advanced copy of my yet unreleased novel, Perfectly Imperfect will be included as a signed paperback, sent directly to you.

Thank you so much- and below is a little excerpt from a conversation Bill and Julie had after he received praise for his Military service. He was struggling, as many do, because some of his men never came home. I think what Julie told him is what so many of us believe, and need the brave men and women who serve so selflessly need to believe, too. This is from book 4, The Unexpected.

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Bill made his way to the bed after getting changed. He was feeling pretty sore from the previous days efforts and he was looking forward to the doctor’s appointment where they were going to remove the cast. He really hoped he could start to put some pressure on his leg. He maneuvered himself out of his wheelchair and sat on the bed, waiting for his body to settle down. He thought about the events of earlier in the day and his heart ached. He just didn’t see things the way the others did.

Julie walked out of the bathroom after taking a shower and looked at her husband sitting on the side of the bed, his back to her. She towel dried her hair and walked to him, wrapping her towel around her body. “So, what’s new?” she asked him as she sat down on the bed and took out her lotion. She began rubbing it on her arms.

He smiled with his back still to her. “You smell good.”

“Thank you,” she said.

He lifted his legs onto the bed and saw her sitting in a towel, rubbing her legs with the lotion he loved. “Do you want some help?”

She shrugged. “It might cost you.”

He looked at her. “I can pay.”

“I’m expensive.”

“I know.”

“What does that mean?”

“Would you prefer I called you cheap?” he laughed.

“Good point,” she handed him the lotion and smiled. “Spread your legs.”

He moved and she sat in front of him, her back to his chest. He put some of the lotion on his hands and began massaging her shoulders. She moved her wet hair to the side and he worked on her neck and then moved down her arms. He leaned into her and kissed her shoulder before opening the towel and exposing her back. She moaned as his hands worked down the middle of her back. She closed her eyes until he pressed lower and she gasped.

“What is it?” he was alarmed.

She shook her head. “Nothing, I think my back is still a little tender,” she wiped her eyes and looked at him, his concern written all over his face. “I’m fine. I fell when they grabbed me before and I am sure I just bruised myself again. You know it doesn’t take much for me to still get sore there.”

He pulled her to him and held her tightly. She knew how torn up he was about everything and she hated to add to that pain. “I’m okay,” she said softly.

He just held her and didn’t say anything.

“You’re squishing me,” she said and grinned at him. He let her go and she turned to face him. “Want to talk about it?” she put her hands on his chest.

He shook his head.

“Okay, so how about if I talk and you listen,” she said. He didn’t object, so she continued. She turned back around and leaned against him. “Am I hurting your chest?”

“No,” he wrapped his arms around her and she took his hands in hers.

“Good,” she sighed. “I think you need to understand something. No matter how hard you try, you can’t change what people see when they look at you. You are the epitome of what it means to be strong and to be brave. I know you hate the hero word, but seeing as I am a teacher, I need to educate you on something. My students often have to look up the word hero and figure out what it means. Being a hero doesn’t mean that you don’t lose sometimes. Being a hero doesn’t mean that you can’t doubt yourself. Being heroic certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t get mad at what happens. A hero is simply one who thinks more of others than themselves and no matter what the cost is to them personally; they do what they can to ensure the people around them are safe,” she kissed his hand.

“It also means that after the battle, when everyone doesn’t come home, the hero may feel like he failed. What’s worse, when the people try to thank him, it makes all of his perceived failures so much worse. The fact that the hero takes such grief in each and every loss is what really and truly solidifies him as a hero.”

She turned around and saw his blue eyes glistening with tears. “When people want to honor a hero with medals and titles, it is because they know how much it takes to be someone heroic. They need to honor you because it is all they can do to show you just what it means to them to know you and to learn from you. They aren’t forgetting the ones lost and they aren’t suggesting you deserved to be here more than anyone else. It is a tribute to you and a reminder to them to be the best in all situations,” she felt her own tears fall and he cupped her cheek in his hand. “I am so proud to be your wife and I am most proud to be someone you feel is worthy of your love. I will never apologize for having you back and wanting you to survive,” she sighed. “But I need you to be happy. I need you to be able to move on and to know that you deserve all of the love and all of the honor you receive.”

He leaned down and pressed his mouth to hers, gently at first and then with more intensity. She felt her fingers and toes tingle with his kiss. He looked at her and smiled.

“Thanks. I needed to hear that,” he said softly.

She nodded. “I know,” she smiled. “But just remember. You may be a sergeant, but I will always outrank you.”

He grinned and pulled her to him again, crashing his lips to hers.

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World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS day.

A day to draw attention to the constant need for research, funding and education to ensure people who are confronted by this disease are not alone. To ensure they have resources, regardless of their socioeconomic status. To ensure they seek treatment regardless of the stigma still attached.

A day to embrace those who courageously fight this disease with honor, dignity and most of all, compassion.

I am often asked why I created a heroine for a romance series who is HIV positive. I always think about that question and I smile, because when I think of Brittany, her HIV is not the first thing that comes to mind.

Brittany is HIV positive. She is also a brilliant doctor, a caring friend, a talented singer, a loving wife and a proud mother. She is also a survivor. She is also arrogant at times and fiery and combative. She is fiercely loyal and independent and she has the ability to set aside emotion and deal with the most emotional of all events.

Sexual assault.

Brittany is HIV positive, and I am proud of her. I am proud of her defying stereotypes that need to be put far out of the minds of our society. People live long and amazing lives while HIV positive and the advancements we have made medically give hope that there WILL be a cure for this disease.

Women who are HIV positive are giving birth to HIV negative babies all the time and men and women who are in monogamous relationships can have an amazing connection; sexual, emotional and safe.

Thanks to education and medication, men and woman are able to conceive a child naturally and safely where they weren’t able to before.

I write Brittany because her story needs to be told. The stigma surrounding sexual assault must be eradicated and women and men must feel that they can lead productive and valuable lives because they deserve to be here.

People who made choices in their lives that led to contracting HIV need to know that they are valuable members of society who deserve to be here. They are not shameful. They are people who carry a heavy burden, much as we all do, but some of us have an easier time hiding it.

I also write Brittany so I could write Tommy, and Jack and Stephanie and Bill and Julie and Jade and Mike and Evan and everyone who loves her and respects her and shows us that there are good people in the world who do the right thing. There are people in the world who fight for those who have trouble fighting for themselves. There are people in this world that make a difference.

I write Brittany because I believe in her and I believe in the “Brittany’s” out there who deserve a hero who looks like them. I want people to identify with Brittany, not because she is HIV positive, but because she is flawed and humble and funny and exasperating. I want people to fall in love with Tommy because of how he adores her and I want people to believe in love and romance and that sometimes, when we think we have nothing to offer, we find just how much the world needs someone just like us. I want people to find their “Red”.

December 1

World AIDS Day.

One day, I hope it’s simply December 1, and AIDS is a thing of the past.

Wouldn’t that be something.

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Happy Cyber Monday (Almost)

Don’t forget to pick up your very discounted copies of all of my books tomorrow! The special Cyber Monday sale will last until Tuesday morning. I will also be releasing a new compilation of books 11-15 by the end of the week.

So, any thoughts on Breaking Point? I’d love to hear your reactions. I’ll have some thoughts on moving forward soon…

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Special weekend sale!

Starting tonight through Monday night, all of my books will be available on Kindle for $0.99! The only exceptions are the compilations and Breaking Point. Book 1-3 in the series are free!

Now would be a great time to pick up any of the books or give them as gifts to get others interested in the series. As always, paperbacks are available if you want! Just send me an email and let me know what you want and I will send it out.

Coming soon…Perfectly Imperfect!

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Just a small note of thanks…

I saw this and thought of all of you who read and support my writing. I am truly thankful for you.

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Now Available!

I can’t wait to hear what you think! Now available everywhere.

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Some answers… :)

A few answers…

Plot points that never made it to the story…

Probably the biggest one was something I wrote a lot about and then abandoned.

I wanted Tommy and Julie’s parents to be found alive.

I had initially thought of bringing them back into the story as being held captive all these years. I was going to have them be a part of the plot behind Nathan’s death, pawns of Janet.

This was before I had revealed Chris as a part of the attack and I ended up bringing him back from the dead instead of David and Juliana.

I never intended on making David and Juliana bad people, but I thought about them being captives for all these years. I thought about the relationship I could write with Julie and Tommy coming to terms with all that happened and how their lives were turned upside down by this event.

Ultimately, I chose to bring Chris back and that was after I made Bill an integral character in the story. My initial idea was to have Bill killed in battle with Mike and the rest of the men and if I did that, bringing Chris back wouldn’t have worked. The juxtaposition of Chris being as evil as Bill is good could only happen with Bill on the canvas.

So it happened the way you read. The one character I was asked to bring back more than anyone else was Nathan, but that isn’t going to happen…yet…or at all… :)

Anyway, I am super pleased with how the character of Chris impacted so many people. I always planned on having Chris be a bad guy; abusive both physically and emotionally, but when I brought him into Brittany’s attack, it added an element of creepiness that I felt was needed. It was something more horrible than any of them could process, and for Bill, it was a knife in his chest.

Another plot point I wrote but never used was Ron’s death. I wanted to explore more about Jack’s relationship with his father and more about their past, but there hasn’t been a lot of time for that. I also love having Ron there and being such a great grandpa to Bee and Tessa. I like that Jack and Ron have come to terms with their past and have become closer. I also think it’s important for one of them to have a strong parent present in their lives.

I also planned on identifying the person who drove the car that killed Juliana and David. That was something that never went anywhere. Drunk driver, and no other character intent.

There are also a few plot points that I wrote, but weren’t initially planned. Things that I can’t imagine not being there.

Naomi was never meant to be born. I intended for Red to lose the baby during the kidnapping when Stephanie was taken with her. I felt it was so incredibly unlikely for Red to be able to carry a baby to term; not because of the HIV, but because she had been so close to death and her platelet disorder was incredibly dangerous. It just seemed completely improbable, but Naomi has proven herself over and over and I will never underestimate her.

Tramp came from a suggestion from a pilot reader who said Tommy and Brittany needed a pet.

Megan was someone I never imagined turning out as evil as she was. I wanted her to have a crush on Tommy and almost be an irritant to Jack because she wasn’t into him. I developed her obsession as a way to bring an element of involvement to the attack on Brittany that came from modern time, and not the past. She was a stalker who took it too far and became obsessed. What she did to Tommy when she tortured him in the cabin has never been fully addressed and it needs to be.

Making Rebecca a bad guy wasn’t the initial plan. I wrote her at first to be a support to Mike, but I always imagined her being more insecure and needy than Julie. It was when I began to flesh out Mike, that I realized, along with him, that Rebecca wasn’t a good person. I think I had trouble writing him because I felt like he deserved better. I wanted him to be loved and respected for who he was and the amazing person he had always been.

That’s why Jade became an important character. She showed up in the beginning of the series in book 1, but it wasn’t until book 10 that I began to really see where she fit into the series. I think one of my most fun relationships to write has been Mike and Jade, and I am so appreciative of the positive response to their story.

I would love to answer more questions if you have them and I can’t wait for you to read “Breaking Point”!

 

 

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Getting excited!!!

bp

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