STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER 7

            Soon after the near fight, the train headed back down the mountain and Sam and Abigail got up to walk around the car, visiting with various family members.
              “Sam how are you enjoying the cruise?” Ethan asked while Charlotte hugged her daughter.
              “I’m having a great time sir. Thank you for having me.”
              “Have you guys been getting a lot of work done?” Charlotte interrupted, looking at both of them.
              “We have,” Abigail assured her.
              “Since when do publishing companies pay their marketing execs to partake in hanky panky?” they heard Jackson ask as he walked up behind them. Abigail felt his hand on her shoulder and swung her elbow back, landing square in his stomach. “Asshole,” she murmured.
              “Damn Abby,” Jackson said, coughing a bit. “Since when can’t you of all people take a joke?”
               Abigail turned to her brother. “Since you stopped being funny.” She threw him a dirty look and walked away.
              “Hey, I’m still funny,” he called after them.
              “Butt hurt isn’t attractive on you baby brother.” Abigail called back.
              Sam stopped her mid stride. “So I take it, his joking didn’t always bother you?”
              Abigail sighed. “No, it didn’t. I actually love his warped sense of humor, but I haven’t been exposed to it for so long and so much has changed. I, I probably shouldn’t be so hard on him huh?”
              “Yeah, you should probably lighten up just a little,” Sam agreed. He pulled her close for a hug. “It’s okay Abby, you’ll get back into the swing of things.”
              "For the first time ever, I actually believe that,” she smiled pulling out of the embrace. “Thanks to you.”

STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER 6

          Thomas tugged on her braid the same way he had when they were younger. “You’re alive Abby, therefore you are the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”
          “He’s right,” Sam agreed. “You stopped living your life Bibi, but you never once even contemplated not living anymore. That took courage.”
          Abby’s focus zeroed in only on Sam and she smiled, tears shining in her eyes. “Because I always hoped that there was something worth living for. That someday I would be able to participate in life again.”
           Sam leaned forward momentarily resting his forehead on hers. “I know," he said softly. He pulled back, looking into her eyes. "Every single day of the last few years I did everything in my power to let you know that there is so much out there to live for. I needed you to live Abby, for you, and for me because I loved you. I thought I’d lost the battle, I thought you would be locked away inside yourself forever. And here you are, learning to live your life again. God Sweetheart, please don’t let what happened last night destroy that,” he begged softly.
          “I’m so sorry Sam.” Abigail stopped speaking as tears clogged her voice.
          A feeling of dread spread through every inch of him. She was about to tell him that she was sorry but she couldn't move past what she’d found out.
         “Don’t look like that!" she reached out to gently touch his cheek. "I’m trying to say that I’m so sorry I ever doubted you. I love you and I owe you so much.” Her breath was shaky but sure as she continued. “Nothing matters except that I love you. What happened last night should never have been an issue. Please forgive me.”
          “There’s nothing to forgive Bibi. We just move forward. Together.” He kissed her forehead, still determined to tread slowly, to let her adjust to the new things happening to them.

STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER 5

             Abigail wasn't sure if she was ready to see Sam yet but she didn’t really want to eat or work alone so she headed down the hall to their cabin. When she came to a set of elevators she decided to head up to deck five to get some fresh air instead. As she stepped onto the car she, literally, ran into Thomas as he was moving closer to the control panel.
            “Hi Tommy,” she smiled, her lips barely turning up at the edges.
            “Hey Abby, how are you?”
            “I could be better,” she answered.
            “I know,” he admitted, "I saw Sam last night.”
            Abigail sighed. “So you know everything?”
            “Yep, every last bit.”
            “Oh Tommy, I just don't know what to do. I love him, but I have no clue if I can overlook his role in this.” 
            “He didn’t have a role in it Abigail,” he stressed as he ushered her off the elevator at deck five.

~~~~~~~~~
            Thomas slowly pulled her close for a quick hug. “I need to tell you something about Sam, something that might help with how you think of him.”
           “You just met him, what can you know about him?” Abby was incredulous.
           “I know that his dad was a bastard, and I also know that the only man in his life growing up was the most decent, kind, gracious human being that ever walked the earth.”  Thomas sighed and grabbed both of her hands in his. “Abby, his uncle Burton was my Gunnery Sergeant, the one I went to hell and back with. And I trusted him with my life. I guarantee the man Sam is today is the same kind of man his uncle was.”
          “The one who died?” she asked quietly. “I remember when it happened. Sam was devastated.”
          “He was a great man Abby and so is Sam. Give him a chance." Thomas kissed her cheek and walked away.

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TO HELL WITH YOU WRITER'S BLOCK!!!

I originally wrote this article last year for my mommy blog when I couldn't think of what to write. But it is so true for all writers (not just bloggers). I think it will hold true for a long time.

The other day I discovered I was suffering from type 2 (see below) writer's block. I could get through any scene in my latest novel, or any blog subject, but I could not write a love scene to save my life. So I came back to this article, I read over my reviews where people said my love scenes were good or well crafted. And I complained to anyone who would listen and give me sympathy. I guess it worked because I wrote a full scene with absolutely no problems a couple days ago.  I'm not so sure it's over yet though. When I finally make it through three easily I will relax a bit.

So, what do you do when you have writer’s block? You write about writer’s block of course!

In all of the time I have been writing there are two kinds of blocks I've run into. Type 1 is where you just plain and simple can’t write anything. Even a subject to write about escapes you. Type 2 is when you have everything you need to put a great piece together but the words just won't come out right.

I guess for me, my latest episode of writer’s block leans more toward Type 1. I had a subject six hours ago when I started working on this blog post but decided early on that it was a subject better left until we know each other a bit better. So I was back to square one. Usually I can pull a subject out of thin air and go with it, but not this time. I sat there for 5.5 hours with nothing. Not one damn idea. Then I started to laugh because it was all so ridiculous that I was sitting there acting like a crazy woman for five and a half hours trying to decide what ideas and words to put on paper.  That is when it hit me, this blog post that I was trying so hard to write would be about the ridiculousness of writer’s block.

I sit there on any given day and think of 20 or 30 different subjects I might want to write about. If I can, I write them down and if not, I pray that I can remember them when I need to.  Then comes time to write, and all of the subjects I wrote down don’t appeal to me anymore so I am stuck trying to pull these other ideas out of my brain which frankly doesn’t work quite as well as it did before I had five kids. Seriously, pregnancy brain never truly disappears, it just morphs into mommy brain. Times five for me which equals MUSH.

Okay, so once I have determined that I have writer’s block, I try to find out why. Am I over stressed? Do I have too many mundane things on my mind? Are the kids bothering me? Am I on a deadline because of an appointment or previous commitment? If one of these applies, then I try to solve the problem. If I can’t, then I try other things. I’ve meditated, prayed and tried a change of scenery. Deep Breathing has sometimes helped too. If all goes well, I start writing and don’t stop until choose to. If not, it is time to smack my head with my pen, or my cell phone, or my hand. And if that doesn’t work, I give it a break for awhile.

Yes, writers block can be so stressful and I guess smacking myself about the head is a bit extreme, but I’ve known and read about people who have really gone all out to end this awful state of mind.

I heard of one woman who would go bungee jumping or skydiving  to try to cure her block. That is something I would never ever do. Not because I don’t want to do those things (because I do) but because with my luck I would have that best selling idea on the way down and then crash to the earth where the awesome idea would die with me.

I knew someone who would sit in a chair with their legs on the back and their head hanging down to the floor.  I could see where that might make the ideas flow to the brain better, but again I would never do that because I would have that best selling idea and then I would pass out cold never to remember the idea again. Part of my ‘brokenness’ is migraines/sinuses/dizziness and I really don’t need to add to that if at all possible.

Now swimming is a writers block cure that I could get into. For me swimming can cure just about anything that ails me. But then I don’t have a pool, the city/rec center charges way too much, I don’t do bathing suits in public and I don’t have a baby sitter for the little ones on a moments notice. So in the end I will just have to whack myself upside the head in times of blockage emergency and hope that it doesn’t add to the brain mushiness that I have thanks to my five wonderful children.



Until next time…here is wishing you easy recovery from whatever ails you. <3

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ALASKAN AMBUSH - EXCERPT CHAPTER 4

         
          Olivia walked around his living room looking at some of his Alaskan trinkets. They were so rustic, so charming. There was that word again, charming, she decided she liked it.
          On display, front and center, on the shelf above his television was the large crystal bear she'd given him on the anniversary of their first date. She knew he had hated it, because it was too material, too expensive for his taste. He never said anything though, he'd just accepted it and put it in the closet, probably because he was afraid that it would break.
          It hadn’t exactly gone with the d├ęcor in his apartment and it really didn’t go here in this little house either, so why was it displayed? Her heart pounded and her hands were shaking. Did this mean he missed her, did he still think about her? Could Pearl have been right?
          She picked it up off the shelf and walked into the kitchen. “Alex, why did you keep this, and why do you have it on your shelf?”
          He put down the knife he held, and turned toward her.
          She smiled tentatively at him, waiting for his answer.
          After a moment, he walked over to her and took the statue out of her hands, setting it gently on the counter. “Because I missed you,” he whispered right before he pulled her close and finally kissed her.

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SYNOPSIS FOR STORMY SEAS!

Five years ago the unthinkable happened and Abigail Mannon practically stopped living.

Sam West came into her life and became a source of strength, a window to the outside world. But she still refused to completely let him in. 

A witty matchmaker decided it was time to help Abigail live again by utilizing Sam, a luxury cruise ship and the beauty of Alaska, but no one knew that his own tragic past was entwined with hers.


Forced into close quarters, Sam begins to teach Abigail about the joys of living. Will their past tragedies bind them together or tear them apart?  

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STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER FOUR

         "Whoa! Wait just a minute Abby,” he yelled, grabbing her arm and pulling her back. “What the hell is wrong with you tonight!”
         She slammed into his chest and he saw fear in her eyes. At that moment he didn’t care, it was past time she faced her fears. His lips crushed hers in a kiss and his tongue battled to get inside to explore.
         Over the next couple of minutes Sam felt like the world was moving in slow motion. Abigail’s body froze and she started shaking. She brought her arms up between them and pushed as hard as she could. He went flying backward and when he recovered his balance, Abby was backed up into the far corner of her bed.
         “Leave me alone!” she screamed over and over as Sam rushed to sit at her side.
         “Bibi, it’s me, it’s Sam.”
         “Go away, don’t hurt me,” she whispered desperately. 
         “I would never hurt you. You're my best friend Abby.”
         “Sam?” she murmured, her eyes finally focusing on him.
         “Yeah Bibi, it’s me. Are you okay?”
         “Yeah, it’s just…” She looked away, covering her eyes with her shaking hands.
         “What the hell happened to make you like this?”
         “Nothing!” she yelled.
         “I know something happened to you shortly before my internship started Abby. Please talk to me.”
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1080946
         Her breath came in large heaving gasps. “I can’t. Not you Sam,” she whispered between sobs.
         “Why not me Abby. We're so close and you know you can trust me,” he assured her.
         “But I've fallen in love with you Sam, so there is no way I can.”
         “I'm in love with you too Abby, and that’s the best reason to talk to me.”
         “No!” she cried.
         “Damn it Abigail Christine Mannon." he growled through gritted teeth. "You need to tell me what’s going on. I don’t like being in the dark. I don’t like seeing you hurting and I don’t like being so scared all the damn time.”
         “You won’t love me anymore if I tell you,” she muttered, looking him in the eyes.
         “I will love you Bibi. Nothing could change the feelings that have been building over the last four and a half years.”
         “Just drop it Sam. I can’t and I won’t!” she cried, looking away from him.
         “You can and you will. We'll sit here all night until you talk to me.” He finally knew that this was exactly what Thomas had been talking about earlier and he wasn't backing down. She needed to talk and he needed to listen if they were to have a future together.
         Abigail was quiet for a long time and Sam was looking away from her when she broke the silence.

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STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER 3

          Sam and Abigail, each in a different bed, woke to her seven o'clock alarm. She rushed to the bathroom to change, but not before he noticed her green eyes starting to sparkle with the promise of a new day. He somehow doubted that happened much with her. He also noticed how her long hair was tousled and sexy as hell first thing in the morning. His insides clenched at the thought of slowly running his hands through the wild mass.
          “Your turn,” she commented, coming out of the bathroom fully dressed in a pair of jeans and a purple sweatshirt that hung off her body like a small tent.
          “Thanks,” he replied, wishing like hell that she'd stayed in the tank top she wore to bed, only maybe shrinking it a size or two. Of course he had assessed her body the previous night because he'd never seen so much of it before. The one thing he knew for sure was that he loved the flawless pale skin that he now knew was the same on her supple thighs and shapely calves as it was on her perfect, beautiful face.
          By the time he returned from performing his morning routine, Abby had her gorgeous wavy locks rolled up tight into her usual bun. “Come on Bibi,” he coaxed. “We're on vacation, you can let your hair down a bit.”
         
          “It’s a working vacation,” she reminded him, “and I like my hair like this.”
          “Come on, for me. Just this once, let it down and see how you like it,” he begged.
          “Sam don’t," she muttered. "I can’t, I’m sorry,”
          “Sometime this cruise Bibi, I'll get you to wear it down.”
          “Yeah, every night when I go to bed,” she muttered.
          “I never knew you were such a smart ass. I like it! Must be your family’s influence. I'll have to thank them.”
          “Don't you dare!” she exclaimed, smacking his arm
          “Aww why not?”
          “Because they will never let me live it down,” she said punctuating each word with a playful
poke to his abdomen.
           Sam loved seeing her being so playful. He liked a playful Abby. A lot. How he was going to keep his hands to himself this entire trip was beyond him.
           Abigail actually smiled at him before unwinding her hair and relaxing the bun to rest at the back of her neck instead of up high on her head. A few teasing tendrils fell out and hung down at the sides. “Is that better?” she asked.
           “It’s a start,” he relented. “Now let’s go to breakfast.” He didn’t finish the rest of his sentence ‘before I wrap those tendrils of your gorgeous hair around my fingers and kiss you senseless’.

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STORMY SEAS - EXCERPT CHAPTER 2

       
  “So what’s with this Abby?” Jackson asked, flicking the bun in her hair. “Never knew you to be a tight ass.”
          “It’s just easier Jackass hole,” she answered. “And it looks professional.”
          “It looks uptight and boring Abby,” Jackson whispered in her ear right before he lovingly kissed her cheek. "I missed you."
          She shot him a smile then started looking for Sam again. The minute he walked into view her heart started thudding and she felt her face flush with heat.
          “That must be the famous assistant, Sam.” Thomas claimed elbowing his best friend.
          Jackson looked from Abby to Thomas and then over to the handsome six foot one inch tall blond man walking toward them. “Do you have a thing for your assistant Abby?” He sounded like a mischievous child, which almost always meant trouble.
          “Thomas answered for her when she seemed to ignore her brother. “She does my friend, and from what I understand, he's a younger man. Your sister’s a cougar!”
          “I hear you guys,” she warned “and you'd better shut up before he gets close or it will be wet willies all around.” Memories of her favorite past time when they were kids came rushing back and she smiled. Any way she could find to torture her annoying little brother and his equally annoying best friend had been a favorite activity.
          “I told you I would make it Bibi,” Sam said, giving her a hug. “So now you'll have to find a different excuse to fire me.”
          Abigail smiled and returned his hug. “Your job is safe,” she claimed. “For now!”
          “Hey mom and dad,” she called to them. “I want you to meet Sam.”
          The older couple turned around and welcomed him warmly to their family vacation. Abigail couldn't help but have the thought that the poor sucker didn’t know what he was getting himself into.
          “And this,” Abigail declared reluctantly “Is my little brother, Jackson and my honorary little brother, Thomas.”
           Both men took turns shaking Sam’s hand.
          “It’s great to meet you both, Abby’s told me so much about you,” Sam offered.
          “Uh oh, she’s told you about us?” Thomas groaned.
          “That can’t be good,” Jackson stated. “Don’t believe half of what she said.”
          “Yeah, the good half,” Thomas joked.
          “What good half?” Sam deadpanned. Everyone, including Abigail laughed. That wasn't usual for her and Sam had to keep himself from staring.
           “So you’re just her assistant right?” Jackson asked in his big brother voice.
           “Or does she give you wet willies and wedgies like she used to give us?” Thomas asked.
           Abigail felt a deep blush creep up her face. “Oh my God you guys, will you just shut the hell up!”
           They didn’t’ have much choice as everyone was asked to quiet down and pay attention. Abigail breathed a silent sigh of relief.
           When there was a break in the evacuation informational lecture, Sam leaned over and whispered in her ear. “Why did I not know we were sharing a cabin?”
          “What!” she cried just a bit too loudly?
          “Your carry-on was in my cabin when I dropped mine off,” he whispered. “I thought I was sharing with your brother and Thomas.”
          “So did I,” she bit out between clenched teeth. “And I thought I was sharing with my sister Mari.”
           Abigail was not happy. There was no way she could share a room with Sam. Her hands wouldn't stop shaking and she had an almost overwhelming urge to flee over the side of the ship. If the drill didn’t end soon, she just might do that.

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