Thursday, October 20, 2016

You Belong With Me Excerpt

Good Morning, lovely people! Hope you're all doing wonderful on this beautiful October morning! It's 7:21am EST here in Sunny Florida and I am getting ready for the EDJ that takes me away from the love of my life... writing. I wish I could stay home and write all day, every day. Some day, right? I think all writers dream of such a thing. Sadly, it is not a reality, but who knows what life will bring my way in the future. 

I realized yesterday in my haste to announce to the everyone that I had forgotten to give you a glimpse into what lies in store for you when you read it! I was literally standing at work, heating my lunch, and I was like *facepalm*! How could I forget to give you a taste of the story like that? Was that a noob thing to do or what? I think anyone watching me at work was like, what is she doing? LOL. So if you read on for a small teaser of You Belong With Me. And don't forget to head over to my earlier post yesterday to enter to win a FREE copy of this sweet, angsty novella, CLICK HERE!!!



RUNNING HIS hand through his hair, mussing up the short strands, Scott sighed in frustration for his friend. Craig and Derek were going at it again. Scott watched them arguing from across the schoolyard and wondered what had set them off this time. Craig threw up his arms several times in aggravation as Derek rolled his eyes at Craig and Scott could only pick up a word or two as they shouted at each other. Something about Derek not answering Craig’s texts hit Scott’s ears and Scott wanted to be the one rolling his eyes. Just the night before Craig had been complaining to Scott about Derek ignoring him. Scott shook his head, unable to comprehend why Craig even put up with someone like Derek after all the things Derek put him through. 

Craig and Scott had been best friends for thirteen years. They always had each other’s back and felt one another’s joy and sorrow, and right now Scott ached inside with how unhappy Craig had been lately. They’d been going through this same routine for two years. The most recent argument was over the fact Derek was never around and had been avoiding Craig. Before that there was Derek’s drug use, and before that the fact Derek had disappeared for an entire month without telling Craig where he was going.

Scott’s distress over his friend’s situation wasn’t entirely selfless. Oh no. It wasn’t that simple. How he wished it were nothing more than friendly concern. The gods had decided to make his life a joke. It wasn’t that Scott was straight; if only it were that simple as well. Of course Scott was gay, but the fact of the matter was Scott was in love with Craig, and had been for a very long time. Only Craig never saw him as anything but a buddy, a friend, a shoulder to lean on when Derek hurt him time and again. Maybe Scott was born under the wrong star, or maybe it was just the way his life was meant to be. 

He’d never told Craig how he felt, but he had told someone else: his own twin sister, Karen. She was always telling him he should confess to Craig, that maybe Craig felt the same way but was too scared of hurting their friendship by saying anything. Scott always told her there was no way in hell he would ruin their lifelong friendship over something like this. At least this way he was in Craig’s life, even if it did feel like a fresh scar was added to his heart every day.

Scott and Craig had met because of their parents. Their fathers worked for the same company, and Scott’s mother invited Craig over for Scott’s fifth birthday party. That was the day the two of them became inseparable. Where one went the other followed. They knew each other inside and out. Scott knew Craig hated bananas and Craig knew Scott was allergic to corn syrup. He knew Craig was secretly afraid of spiders like he was of the dark. Their taste in music was similar and both of them loved to dance. There was nothing they didn’t share together. They had come out to their parents together, supporting one another, and had each other’s backs when the bullying and hazing at school started. Scott remembered the day he’d finally admitted his feelings for Craig went beyond friendship.

He’d been on his way to class, hall pass in hand after attending an early morning meeting at the school newspaper, only to suddenly find himself shoved up against a locker. The captain of the football team, a big teenager named Devon, had him pinned to it, calling him a faggot and threatening to beat the queer out of him. Just as Devon pulled his fist back to start waling on him, Craig had grabbed Devon’s wrist from behind and, despite their size difference, challenged Devon. Scott could barely contain his relief and joy at seeing his friend. Craig had been late to school that morning by chance, having overslept. Their shouting brought several teachers and students out into the hallway, effectively halting anything further. The only one Scott had eyes for was Craig. He’d effectively been hooked from that day forward. Despite Craig’s obliviousness.

Craig broke Scott’s heart the day he lost his virginity. He called Scott up the same night and told him every last excruciatingly painful detail. That was the day he knew Craig was never going to love him like he wanted. But try telling that to his heart.

Scott was startled from his thoughts when Craig slammed his book bag onto the ground next to him. “Damn him! Why does he keep doing this shit to me?”

Because you let him, Scott thought miserably. “What happened?”

Craig slumped against the cement wall next to Scott with his elbows on his knees and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. He was so close Scott could sense his body heat, and it sent a shaft of longing through him to think what it would be like to feel that heat flush with his, tangled in a mess of limbs as they made love to each other. “Bastard says he just needed some space. I don’t know why he sticks around if he doesn’t want to be in a relationship.”
“I don’t know why you put up with him,” Scott said quietly.

“Because he can be a great boyfriend. He just has his moments when he forgets,” Craig replied bitterly.

Scott knew it wasn’t because Derek was a great guy. Derek only used Craig when he wanted something. Craig didn’t seem to realize how beautiful he was and how he could have anyone he wanted. Standing at a towering six foot two, Craig had a lean and toned physique with the most amazing aquamarine eyes and silky black-as-pitch hair. There was a tiny beauty mark just above the corner of his mouth. When he smiled it was so gorgeous it literally stole Scott’s breath away. The signature wire-and-black-leather necklace Craig wore made him stand out even more. It made his strong neckline seem somehow more graceful.

He was the exact opposite of Scott. Scott stood at a mere five foot ten, with a lanky body and dirty-blond hair he kept closely shaved. His hazel eyes were the only redeeming feature in the babyish face he saw every time he looked in the mirror. He couldn’t even grow a mustache that didn’t look like peach fuzz. His mother always told him his father was the same when he was his age, and now his father had a full-grown beard. That wasn’t something he wanted, though. He just wanted a simple goatee and mustache. The only jewelry he wore was a sterling silver hoop in his left ear, and he only got that because Craig mentioned he’d look hot with an earring.

“Maybe he just isn’t ready for one,” Scott said after a long pause.

The bell rang before Craig could respond, and they both stood up to gather their books. “I’ll see ya at lunch, Scott,” Craig said with a careless wave.

They had very few classes together, so the only time they saw each other during the day was in the mornings, lunch, and chemistry. They were lab partners in chemistry. Scott dragged his feet as he trudged to class. As much as it hurt to be around Craig, he couldn’t imagine him not being in his life. He didn’t know how he would survive the day Craig revealed he was in love for the first time.

The moment Karen saw his face as he walked into calculus, she was up and heading his way. His sister was the mirror image of him, except her hair was longer and her features more feminine, and she had a softer, curvier body. “Another fight,” she guessed without needing to be told.

Scott nodded dejectedly. “Why can’t he see me, Karen?”

She hugged him tightly but didn’t say anything. Despite what people said about siblings always being at each other’s throats, Scott and Karen were the exception. They rarely argued, and if they did, it never lasted long. 

The teacher walked in a few seconds later, and they went to sit down before they got in trouble. Karen squeezed his arm before taking her seat.


Remember, you have until 11:59 EST November 6th to enter to win a FREE e-book copy of You Belong With Me OVER HERE so enter now! :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cover Reveal for "You Belong With Me" & eBook Contest

Good Morning, everyone! Happy Hump Day! I have some great news to share and a chance for you guys to win a free e-book copy of one of my upcoming releases! Keep reading for how to enter!

Last night I received notification that my novella You Belong With Me is actually going to be released sooner than expected! I was originally given a tentative release of Feb/March of 2017 so I was pleasantly surprised and excited to find out it is already on the Coming Soon page over at Dreamspinner Press and will be released November 9th of this year! The novella is already available for pre-order over on Dreamspinner Press's website and will be available at the other sites DSP releases to the day of release.

You Belong With Me was a story inspired a few years back and is something that many of us have experienced. That deep down longing for a friend, someone we've known for years, but who has always been oblivious to that fierce love in our hearts, too blind to see what was right in front of them. Scott loves his best friend Craig with every bit of his heart, but Craig is unable to see it. The difference here is that the story is given from the perspective of not only Scott and Craig but also Scott's twin sister Karen, who has suffered right along with Scott. Hopefully you'll find this trio of perspectives interesting and will be rooting for Scott by the end of it. :)

The cover artist, Anne Cain, did an amazing job with the cover. It's different than my others and I love it. I think it captured not only the essence of the story, the sadness and the weight Scott carries with him, but also the blindness Craig has toward Scott's feelings with the way Craig and his current SO are shadowed. The whole feel of it encompasses the depth of what the story means to Scott, Craig, and Karen.

Cover Reveal

Cover Artist: Anne Cain


Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.

Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.

When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.

Dreamspinner Press Link 

NOW for Contest Entry - All you have to do to enter to win is comment. Yep. Easy as that. Just comment (with your email address please!). Winner will be selected randomly from all commentators. You have until 11:59PM EST November 6th to enter. Winner will be selected November 7th and I will email the winner to let you know you won along with your copy of the ebook. Simple as that! Easy peasy right? :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Losing and Loving it, and a Tattoo

Last year, the company I work for during the day moved into a new set of buildings and one of the rooms was turned into a gym. They outfitted it with everything you can imagine. Treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, circuit training, etc. They even hired a personal trainer that you can either attend the free classes that they pay her to have, or you can pay her for personalized classes. I managed to lose quite a bit, around 50 pounds. I spent most of the year having personalized classes, but ended up having to quit because I kept getting severe migraines. Terrible migraines. They got so bad, I lost all of my motivation and just stopped going to the gym all together, started eating terrible again, and just fell off the wagon. I gained some of the weight back, but thankfully not all of it.

After seeing a chiropractor, a pain management specialist, attending physical therapy, and eventually a neurologist, I finally started getting the migraines under control. Since May 31st of this year, I have been able to get back into the gym regularly. I go four to five times a week and walk on the treadmill. I started at thirty minutes and am now up to an hour a day.  I also watch what I eat. I do around 1200 calories a day for food and about 200 for Gatorade. I drink G2, not the regular which is loaded with sugar. Over the course of almost three months, I have lost 27 pounds, perhaps more, but I am only weighing myself once a month if I can help it. I know my mind and if I weigh myself every week and don't see a change, I'll lose the motivation, so once a month is all I am allowing myself. It's worked though. 27 pounds is a lot. 

If anyone asked me what I am using for motivation now, I'd have to answer several things. One, my body. I'm getting older and my knees and feet are hurting more often now. I am tired of always aching. Two, I know it's going to get harder to lose it the older I get. Three, I'm tired of being alone. I won't go into the sad story of my life the last eleven years, but I want someone special in my life. And I know I won't feel comfortable enough to seek that out with being the weight I am. So this is definitely a motivating factor, as well. 

During my trek to find a relief from the migraines, I ended up having to endure some very painful shots in my skull. They were extremely unpleasant, but they showed that I could sit through them. While they didn't last long and may be a different story from a tattoo, it gave me the motivation to want to sit through getting one. After thinking about it, I know what I want. I want one that I won't regret, something that means something to me, and I can wear with pride. Knowing that it's going to be something I will have on me for the rest of my life, I decided to make it something intimately connected to me and the one I came up with is the same as the one Kasey has in Chasing Seth. I have always had a love for wolves. Even when I was younger, I loved them. They're beautiful, majestic, magical creatures, and with Kasey being one of my own characters, it makes sense to have it be something connected to me in such a way. So I am going to have the image from Kasey's back done on my inner forearm/wrist. I intended to have it done in September when I went to visit a friend, but the trip fell through and it isn't going to happen now, but that's okay. I'll see about having it done here at home. A friend recommended a local shop that has some amazing artists and I have already seen some of their work. I have to contact him and see when I can make the appointment. 

Gotta run. Have more edits to finish on Love & Snowball Fights, a gym session to attend, and work to do! Hopefully more writing to do as well. Love to you all! 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chasing Seth e-Book on Sale for $1 over at Dreamspinner Press!

Chasing Seth eBook along with 11 other GREAT reads are on Sale over at Dreamspinner Press from August 8th until August 12th for $1.00! Hurry on over to take advantage of the sale! :) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I swear I'm still alive! And I have good news...

Hey, all. So I know it's been a while, again, since I posted on here. For those who only follow me here, I'm not dead nor have I stopped writing. I have been working as much as I can on my projects in progress. I post a lot more on Facebook than on here which I am going to make an effort to change. I'm really sorry to have neglected my blog.

Well to give those an update for anyone who may be wondering, I have good news for my readers. I have two novellas slated for release in the upcoming months. I don't have definite dates yet nor covers, but I should have something for you soon. One is almost completely through the edit process and the other has just entered the editing process. I hope to have a completed blurbs to share with you as well. 

I have six WIPs in progress, including the next in the True Mates series, Protecting Kai. I also have the first book in a three book series almost finished, about twenty five thousand words left, though I don't intend on submitting that until all three books are finished. But I think you'll like it. I also have a vampire story in progress, another shifter novella, and a couple of others that have hit me over time. 

Lane Freeman (don't own the picture!)
 The first novella: Due out Nov/Dec this year is called Love and Snowball Fights. It's a story set around the holidays about a young man named Lane Freeman who has been kicked around through foster homes and has learned to rely on only himself to get by in life. Since his release from the foster care system, Lane's been a wanderer, moving from place to place, never setting down roots, until one day he ends up left behind by a trucker he was hitchhiking with in a place called Christmas Valley. Over the next six months, he begins to find himself believing he may have finally found a place to call home, taking up a job at Tal's Bar and Restaurant, an apartment, and even a three-legged cat named Chloe. Until Trey Jenkins comes home for the holidays, disturbing his peace and reminding him just why he's never stayed in one place longer than a few months.

Trey Jenkins (Don't own the picture!)
          Trey Jenkins, a Dallas firefighter home to visit his family for the holidays, immediately believes Lane is just like all the other drifters who've taken advantage of his brother Tal over the years and takes a disliking to him at first. When Trey finally acknowledges Lane's genuine kindness, their attraction to one another begins to grow, despite the many reasons it shouldn't. Trey wants nothing more than to give Lane a family again while Lane attempts to push him away, believing he's better off alone rather than relying on someone who is only going to end up hurting him again.

Scott (I don't own the pic)
The 2nd novella: Due out Feb/March of 2017 is called You Belong With Me.

Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.

Craig (I don't own the pic)
Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.

When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott's heart, Craig opens his eyes--and his own heart--to the possibility of a future with Scott. Either way, he plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott that they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.

Obviously those photos are only an idea of what the characters look like in my head. The actual cover photos will look different, unless by some miracle the cover designer can get these specific models! I am excited to see the covers and hope that I get the cover artist I want since I never have any trouble working with her. She sees inside my head, lol. 

Anyway, I am going to leave some stuff for the next post, so with a see ya later, signing off! 

~ J.R. ~

Monday, January 18, 2016

I know it's been a while since I posted, yet again... But I have...

I know it's been a while since I posted, yet again. But I have been eagerly working on writing since the new year started. I am over halfway through a new story that I am pretty sure I will successfully be able to have three books featuring the same main characters. :)

It is tentatively titled Ghosts of the Past: Book One. However, I may change that before I sub it to DSP. Still playing around with titles for this set. I will not be giving away much right now in regards to what it pertains to. I do however like how it's coming out myself and truly am enjoying the dynamic between the two main characters.

I also have finally(!) found a permanent (I think) new home for Swift's Temptation and Fragments of a Unicorn's Soul over at Torquere Press. The new cover so far is looking great for Swift's Temptation. I haven't seen what they intend on doing with Fragments, but I'm interested as I am really liking Swift's.

My headaches have decreased to about once a week now. I had an appointment scheduled for today, but it was cancelled because they didn't get approval for the new treatment yet. So keep your fingers crossed for me that the insurance company will approve the new shots. And that those shots will provide a lot more long term relief so I can continue on my writing path rather than my exhaustion, headache, exhaustion, rinse repeat path.

I have also been working on the next installment in the True Mates world, but had to take a break because I was hitting a wall. That will be my next target so to speak.

Well, that's all for now. Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween Blog Contest Winner - I know I"m late! So sorry!

Hi, all! Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! I know I'm a little late. Unfortunately, migraines attacked again. So I am a little late on announcing the winner. I added everyone in the order they entered with the correct answers into a spreadsheet and did a random number generator to choose my winner. And the winner is....

Helaneh S.!!!

I will be emailing Ms. Helaneh to gather the details to send her the wonderful prize package!

Thank you to everyone who participated! I was happy to see the turnout at such a large number. :) I hope you'll continue to follow me as I would like to do this again in the very near future for the upcoming holidays. So please check back often!