Leap of Faith

As the script for the pilot episode of Splintered Love is ready to head off to a studio for, hopefully interest, here’s the story featured in the book anthology in which the pilot is based on.

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The flicker from the film danced off the screen as the roar of laughter erupted from the audience and filled the movie theater. A joyous mood spread throughout this large, darkened room. Everyone, with grins pasted on their faces, took in the humor of what they were watching. Everyone, that is, except one lone female who sat stone-faced staring at the screen and failing to see the hilarity that was before her.

Twenty-six year old Lisa Fielding failed to experience any emotion. She decided four years ago that feelings led to sorrow and pain. Lisa was raised by a single mother who took care of her and two siblings. When she turned eleven, she watched as cancer devastated the core of what her mother was, until she succumbed and lost her battle. Continually crying for days, she felt alone in a world that seemed cruel and unjust. Her strong Catholic upbringing saved her faith from being shattered.

Not overly attractive; Lisa would be considered average looking. She had boyfriends in high school, but none of them worked out the way she hoped. Never one to initiate the split, the arrow of failed relationships stuck in her heart more times than she cared to remember. In her mind, it was her fault they didn’t last. The few close friends she did have always tried to sooth her damaged self-esteem.

At the beginning of senior year, she’d lost the woman who became a mother to her—her beloved aunt—who had raised her since the death of her real mother. Her sister praised her for being strong and not falling apart, but it was the wall she built to protect her from emotional self-destruction.
But love eluded Lisa at every turn, and when she did find what she took for love, it was torn away and slashed to shreds.

****

As Lisa walked out of the cinema, her attention was diverted by a movie poster. Upon turning to get a better look, it felt as if she hit a brick wall. Popcorn flew in the air, some finding its way down her shirt, as she stammered back and dropped the empty bucket. She regained her balance and gazed at the obstruction.

Before her was a tall, attractive man, who appeared to be in his upper twenties. A moment of awkwardness swept over the two of them as they exchanged glances.
“I’m so sorry,” the stranger apologized.

“It’s okay,” she responded, staring into his hazel eyes. “I should have been watching were I was going.”

“No, I should’ve been paying closer attention to where I was going. Please, let me buy you another one,” he said, picking up the empty container. “It’s the least I can do.”
“It’s fine. I’m leaving anyway.”

“Then you’ll have some to eat later. I’m not taking no for an answer,” he persisted with a grin.

****

Thinking back, it was during her freshman year of college that true passion found her in the form of a boy, who broke through the wall she sought refuge behind. His name was Russell. His straight blond hair nestled neatly on his head, hazel eyes, and a personality that cried, “Love me,” snapped her out of the emotional solitude in which she resided.

Their romance began in Mathematics 101. She would catch a glimpse of him stealing a peek at her, but he would quickly turn innocently away. She wasn’t interested in finding, or attaching, her heart to another. All she wanted to do was go forward and follow the course in her life that she had determined.

It was a day she remembered fondly. The wind blew the rain sideways, slapping her in the face. Lisa made a futile attempt to block the onslaught of the brutal, pounding rain, by placing her backpack in front of her face. The walk to her dorm appeared to go on forever; each step feeling as if it was not getting her any closer.

Without warning, the rain stopped around her. Lisa was startled when, from behind, a navy blue jacket covered her drenched body. “It wasn’t supposed to rain. Goes to show you how much weathermen know, huh? Why don’t we head over to the library until this passes?”

Wet and shivering, she agreed. To her surprise, they talked for hours in whispered voices in the quiet of the library. A calming force about Russell quenched the thirst she never believed would fill her soul after the loss of her Mom and Aunt.

Russell pampered Lisa every chance he got. She opened up to him unlike she had ever done with anyone else. She was comfortable around him, and for two years their love blossomed. The misery of the past was now just a sad memory. Love sought her out, and latched on. Their hearts bonded with the adhesive of devotion that made them inseparable. The gloomy days evaporated, replaced with sun-filled warmth and happiness. She found her soul mate; the one who protected her heart from being shattered again.

****

The flash of Russell’s smiling face and protective hug vanished as Lisa snapped back into the present to the man before her in the theater.

“Okay,” she said, breaking the glance with a smile. “Thank you.”

She followed him as they walked up to the counter, stunned at herself for accepting his offer. “If you don’t mind me asking, what movie did you see?”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” she answered.

“How was it?” he questioned. He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket as he handed the girl behind the counter the bucket. “I’ve heard it’s very good.”

“It wasn’t bad,” she replied awkwardly.

“I saw Godzilla,” he said, taking the popcorn from the girl and then turning to hand it to Lisa. “I’m not so sure that makes the best first impression,” he chuckled.

Mystery filled her mind as she gazed back into his eyes.
“Thank you,” she said shyly.

“You’re very welcome,” he responded. “Have a great night, and sorry once again.”
“No problem. Have a good night.”

They parted ways, and she made the lonesome walk to her car; the man in the theater constantly filling her head.

Lisa pondered how interesting it was that one word opened the floodgates of memories. For her, the word was Godzilla.

****

“Don’t you find it just a little distracting that their mouths don’t match what they are saying?” Lisa quipped, watching a giant lizard stomp its way through a Japanese city.
She found it adorable that he was still a kid at heart. His dorm room shelves were filled with DVDs of every Godzilla movie ever made, along with rows of “toys,” as she called them, of the creature. The sparkle in his eyes whenever he got the chance to discuss his favorite monster was cute.
“You’ll get used to it. Besides, these movies ooze awesomeness, don’t you think?” Russell gripped her tighter in his arms and stroked her soft, straight hair as they lay on his bed; her head resting on his chest, rising and falling with every breath he took. She held him close, never wanting him to leave. There was no doubt, no second guesses, not one worry of a shattered heart, just pure, undeniable love, and she felt complete.
“Did you notice anything special about my new cell number?” he asked.
“Ahh, no. Should I have?” she replied.
“Look at the last four digits.”
She reached into her back pocket and took out her phone. Studying the dial pad, she racked her brain as to what he was trying to convey. “What is it, some kind of encrypted message?”
“Just put the letters to the numbers.”
Determined, Lisa inspected every number. She started with the first two, five, and eight. She managed to connect them, and the rest fell into place; 5-8-8; LUV. As Lisa worked through the numerical puzzle, it dawned on her. She grinned as she looked up at him.

“Luv, Lisa.”
“I’m such a romantic, aren’t I?” The glow emanating from her face was as bright as the glow from the cell phone screen.
“I love you,” she whispered. “You’re the best thing that could have ever have happened to me.”
With a soft kiss to her forehead, he said, “I’m sorry about everything you’ve been through in your life. You’re a very strong woman. I admire that. Believe it or not, it has made you into the most special woman in this world, and I’m happier than flies on shit that I found you.”
“You have such a way with words,” she laughed. Their two hearts joined the longer they gazed into each other’s eyes. Their love weaved together into a knot. She melted with his kiss, always letting out a brief sigh when their lips separated. She never wanted the kisses to end—never wanting him to let go.
“You are the prettiest girl I have ever laid my eyes on,” he sincerely stated.
“Liar,” she shot back in a playful tone.
“In love, trust is a must. If I ever lied, it would make you cry,” he declared.
Her laughter continuously rolled out. “That is the corniest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Another trait she found sweet, and those were the lame quips.
With their lips locked again, their tongues tasted each other. When they separated, she let out sigh. “It’s corny, but it’s sweet.”

****

Days had passed after the initial meeting with the gentleman at the cinema, and he remained glued in Lisa’s mind. He was an enigma that repeated in her head over and over. The more thought she put into it, the more she wondered why he struck her as being familiar.

Sifting through the clothes rack at Old Navy, she grunted at everything that was not her size until she found something that fit her. With the shirt held out in front of her, she inspected every inch of the garment.

A deep voice from behind was startling, causing her to drop the item from her hand. The same familiar apology that repeated itself over in her head now echoed in her ears.
She spun around, and there he was.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized.

They simultaneously reached to pick up the fallen shirt. They clunked heads in a soft thud. He squeezed his forehead as he lifted his chin and chuckled.

“I was hoping I would bump into you again, but not this way,” he joked. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she said.

“You know, I never properly introduced myself.” He held out his hand. “I’m Michael.”

She returned the handshake and flashed a fake smile. She had worked hard to get her feelings under control, and she was not going to let it fall apart.

“It’s nice seeing you again,” she stated.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

The pitch in his voice made her freeze in her tracks. His distinct tone resonated throughout her body; it was one she had heard years before. Michael spoke to her in a way that harkened back to happier times. Her mind may have been playing a cruel joke—making her think that he was somebody else.

Without facing him, she muttered, “Lisa.”

“Did I hear, Lisa?” he smiled.

Since she didn’t show any emotion, men looked upon her as if she was a reject, speaking to her when needed. It did not bother her. She accepted who she was and moved on. She didn’t want to invest the time into someone when in the end, they would leave like they always did.

Michael continued with small talk—meaningless chatter meant to fill the uncomfortable void between them. She wanted to walk away, but he had this unexplainable pull that made her stay.

A tingling sensation inched its way through her body once more. She did not want to allow herself to be overtaken by whatever was consuming her. In her heart she understood, but her mind denied it.

“Do you think I could have your number … possibly set a date for maybe … dinner?” he asked.

She had been so cold-hearted to him both times they met, she was taken aback that he would ask her this. “No” should have been the answer, but she did not hesitate, “Sure.”
They stood in silence, waiting for one of them to say something. Finally, Michael spoke up. “I wish I could read the mind of such a beautiful woman, but I can’t. You’ll have to tell me,” he chuckled.

Shaken out of her revere, Lisa returned his grin. “555-506-5472.”

His fingers fluidly moved across screen, pausing before he pressed the last number. “This is interesting,” he noted. “Today is May 6th, and the last four digits of your number spell out your name. What are the chances of that?” he added.

The phone buzzed in her purse, and she took it out to glance at the screen.

“Now you know who is calling or texting you,” he said.

A grin overcame her reluctant face. “Okay.”

“Well, I should get going. Talk to you soon?” he asked.

Lisa answered with a smile.
“I’ll take that smile as a yes,” he said. “Is your head okay?”

With her hand still rubbing the spot where they collided, she muttered, “Yeah, its fine.”

After the goodbyes, they parted ways. What were the chances of literally bumping into each other again? Perhaps it was fate, or maybe a mere coincidence. Either way the cat, or in this case, her cell number, was out of the bag. It would be a matter of time before he called, and she hoped that it would be sooner than later.

****

Lisa swung the Old Navy bag as she walked with Russell’s arm around her. “Thank you, sweetheart,” she said, her mouth twitching before widening.

Russell leaned down and gave her a kiss. “I love it when your mouth does that before you smile.”

“There is something else that twitches when you are close by it,” she cooed, flashing him a wink.

He lowered his hand, giving her butt a pinch through her tight blue jeans. She jerked forward, turned, and halted him in his path. With her arms around his waist, she snuggled him close in the middle of the mall parking lot. Wrapped in his arms brought her security. Her eyes motioned for him to move his mouth by hers. The “kiss” code he knew, and he replied. Their lips locked; Lisa pulled him as close as possible. A tiny car horn interrupted the moment of passion.

They moved to the side and watched as the car passed them by, the elderly couple inside shooting them an evil look. They returned to staring at each other and shared a laugh. There were more pressing issues to discuss, and Lisa’s face switched from joyous to serious.

“Are you going home this spring break?” she asked him, with the fear of being apart from him tearing at her insides.

“Not this year. Actually, I have a surprise for you.”

“Really?”

“How does a week at a cozy little bed and breakfast sound?”

“Really?” she asked again.

“Yes,” he smirked. “Horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, the works. The best part is that we won’t have to be apart.”

She leapt into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. “We won’t have to be apart,” she repeated joyfully.

****

A day did not pass that Lisa didn’t reminisce about what transpired a few days ago. A part of her waited for any contact from him. She considered making the first move, but tossed that idea aside. She didn’t want to get involved with him, and maybe it was best that he stayed away. Starting to set the phone on the table, it buzzed. There was his number and a simple text that said, Hello.

Her mouth twitched, and widened. Happiness came over her, and since it had been so long since she had the sense of joy, she became confused on how to react. She tried to fight it off, but seeing his text brought a ray of sunshine through the darkened clouds. She stopped trying to make sense of it and relaxed as they carried on their conversation. After an hour, she started to get more into the texting, feeling at ease with him. It occurred to Lisa that she was becoming too involved with Michael. She wanted to back off and decided to cut the chat short, making a lame excuse that she had something to take care of.

Graciously, he asked if it would be possible to text her again, or possibly call her tomorrow. She put little thought into it and let her heart decide for her. A ray of emotional sun warmed her in a way that she had not experienced in many years.

****

“Come on, dear,” the woman said, waving Lisa towards the front door.

The sun glistened upon the Hamilton Bed and Breakfast. It looked comparable to a regular house. Its wooden, white porch, lined with hanging green plants and rocking chairs, showed its age. The chipping paint gave the place its charm. The brown shutters stood out against the white painted aluminum siding. She thought to herself what a quaint painting this setting would make. She stood outside taking in the scenery while Russell had to attend to an “important” thing.

The woman limped over to the front door. She must have been in her upper sixties. Her silver hair, thick glasses, and flowered dress, turned her into a lovely little grandma that Lisa wished was hers. “Let me get that for you, dear.” She leaned over, and swung open the door.

Lisa inched up the porch steps, taking each one cautiously. The deep red of the mysterious items that started at the doorstep caught her eye.

“You’re a very lucky girl,” the old woman’s cracked voice said. “Your fellow is very romantic.”

Her grin widen when she realized what was on the floor. Placed roughly two feet apart, the rose petals dotted the entryway and lead the way up the stained wooden floors. In a hypnotic trance, she followed the trail. With every step, her heart swelled with anticipation; her hands became clammy. There was no more pain, no more desolation of her past.

She peered into the room where the petals led. The shades were drawn shut and flickering candles gave an eerie, yet soothing ambiance. Russell stood at the foot of the neatly made bed.

****

Months passed. Lisa still kept it barricaded inside her, not displaying any type of emotion, not even allowing Michael to kiss her. Yet with the lack of affection, he still hung with her; a noble feat that she admired. Either he was tough as nails or as dumb as a rock, but the pieces started to fall in to place. They had so much in common, and they went to the same college at the same time. She repeated in her head, why.

They sat in a crowded seafood restaurant, the salty scent of fish filling their noses with every intake of breath. They discussed their pasts—well, he was the one doing most of the talking. Lisa held back her messed up disaster of past relationships and the emotional hell she had been through. He did not pry anything personal out of her, nor did he try.

“I was an only child,” he said, wiping the white napkin on the side of his mouth. I couldn’t have asked for better parents. What about you? What about your parents?”
She knew that this question would come to see the light of day. She filled her mouth in an attempt to avoid bringing it up. She wasn’t ashamed, but now was not the time to feel that knot of pain tightening over her losses.

Michael noticed she had no interest in talking about the subject so he continued. “Anyway, just a couple of month’s into college, I met this wonderful girl.”

Why the hell is he telling me about his old girlfriend on the first date? She thought to herself.

“We weren’t party goers like half the other students were. We never went to Fort Lauderdale for spring break like everyone else. We preferred to be alone together. ” He paused, and changed the subject. “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened between you and your ex?”

****

Russell kneeled on one knee before her, the aroma of the scented candles, vanilla to be exact, filled her nose. His hand trembled as he took hers. Lisa’s emotions collapsed, shaking as bad as he was. Her eyes opened and the flow of tears tickled out as they trailed down her face. She didn’t ponder much as to what her answer would be before the words left his mouth.

“From the first day I met you, I knew that there was no one in this world as special as you. Every day, since I first looked into your beautiful eyes, I have thought of you. Your lovely smile, but more importantly, the person on the inside. You stole my heart, and the only way I can be with it again, is to have you by my side.”

He reached under the bed and took out a small silver box graced with a darker shade of a silver band just above the opening. For a fleeting moment, she pondered how many times he had rehearsed this scene in his head, but as soon as he flipped the lid open the thoughts vanished. Wishing she could see the ring through the tears, she fell to one knee.
“Lisa Fielding. My devotion. My love. My soul are yours, and I would be honored if you take my hand in marriage and be my wife.”

He squeezed her trembling hand to hold it steady, and slid the diamond ring on. She nodded as quickly as possible; the word “yes” stammered out of her quivering mouth.
She embraced him and then raced back to slam the door shut with a heavy thud.

****

A veil of sadness covered Michael as he swirled the remaining wine in the glass before setting it back on the table. The sorrow in his eyes as they met drained the happiness from her. She braced for the worst; but she hoped for the best.

“There was an accident,” he said.

“I’m so sorry,” she replied.

“So was I. We were torn away from each other when we reached the highest peak of love. I cherished her. I treated her like royalty because that is what she was to me. The beauty of the universe could not compare to hers. When we were apart, there was a piece of me missing and when we were together, I never wanted to let her go.” His voice cracked as the passion for his girlfriend grew.

A tear began to fall as he continued. “I never thought I would see her again, but in my heart, there would be nothing that could keep me away. The moment I saw that flash of light, I witnessed her elegance; her absolute magnificence within that light. My soul was determined to get back to her.”

****

“I’ll be back,” Russell stated in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation.

“Let me come with you,” Lisa said.

“I’m just running across the street to grab some snacks, and when I get back, we’ll watch whatever movie you’d like.”

After a quick peck on the forehead, Lisa watched her fiancé disappear behind the closing door. She relished the thought that they would be married after college; it ran through her mind since they returned from spring break.

She looked at the shelves of his Godzilla toys, deciding where they would be displayed once they got their own place. The joyfulness gave way to grief as thoughts drifted to her mother. A heavy sigh flowed from her mouth. She believed her mother was keeping a keen eye on her from beyond, smiling at the woman she had become.

Involved in thoughts, Lisa lost track of time. She peeked at her cell phone. Russell had been gone over forty minutes—a long time for a trip to the convenience store a few blocks away.

I miss you. Where are you? She texted.

She waited for a return text, but none came. Her finger walked across the screen, she sent one more.

Baby?

Frozen in terror, her eyes remained glued to the screen. She pleaded to an unseen God, putting trust in her faith that he would bring forth an answer. Her soul emptied. Rolling over the spot where he laid more than forty minutes ago, she flung her legs over the side of the bed, and bolted for the door. Flinging it open, it impacted the shelves with force, causing the toys to fall to the floor with hollow thumps.

The moment she set foot in the hallway, she heard the echo of a boy’s voice. “Lisa,” the voice boomed. Out of breath, the boy gasped. “You have to come.”

“Evan, what’s wrong?” she asked Russell’s closest friend. “Is it Russell?” she cried.

Panting heavily, he blurted the words that burned into her soul. “There has been an accident. Russell’s been hit by a car.”

****

Lisa’s face showed no expression. She sat in a trance, puzzled by the last comments he spoke.

“What?” she said confused. “I think you’ve lost me somewhere, Michael.”

“I woke up in the hospital. To this day, I can still smell the fresh linen as if I were still there, laying in that bed, attempting to figure out how it could have happened. But there was something very different about me and the people that were surrounding me. I didn’t know who they were. I heard the nurses explaining to these strangers that I might be suffering from amnesia due to the amount of sedatives I had ingested. I couldn’t tell you how long I was in the hospital. Everyone kept calling me Michael, but that was not my name,” he said.

****

Minutes passed like hours as Lisa sat in the waiting room, her head buried in her hands. She repeated the Lord’s Prayer, relying on her Catholic upbringing to guide her, and to assure Russell’s survival. It was all Lisa had to rely on. She trusted the Lord would forgive her absence away from him.

Heavy footsteps interrupted her prayers. Through her swollen eyes, she witnessed Russell’s parents walking somberly towards her; his mother wiping her nose with a tissue. Lisa’s mumbling stopped mid-prayer. The somber veil covered his dad’s face spoke more than words could ever have. Her heart melted, dripping life out of her distressed soul.

“No,” she muttered. “No!”

****

Michael took a deep breath before he continued. “The person who is talking to you right now, is not the man on the outside. The man you are looking at now passed away from an overdose of sedatives.”

He paused to see if Lisa displayed any hint of emotion. Her dead stare and stone face gave him no indication as to what was running though her mind. “The man on the inside died physically when he got hit by a car crossing the street. But somehow I was given a second chance at life.”

She tried to say, “What?” but only ended up mouthing the word.

“Look at my number,” he insisted. “I specifically got it to spell something out for you and only you.”

Confused, she took out her phone and tried to make sense of what he was attempting to tell her.

“The first letter indicates devotion,” he said.

She stared intently at the screen, puzzled. L, U, V; her eyes widened. The letters and numbers started to match up, she softly spoke each letter. “L,U,V,L,I,S,A.”

Her brain closed, not wanting to grasp what was happening. The color drained from her face as his tender touch failed to sooth the numbness that swept over her body. From the corner of his sorrowful eyes, a tear finally fell.

“Lisa,” he whispered. “It’s me.”

She stood to leave. Thinking that this was a cruel joke, it fortified her belief that love was nothing but a waste of time.

****

Tears filled her eyes for days. Every drop that fell took a piece of her happiness, until there was nothing left to shed. For weeks she sat isolated, contemplating what the meaning life held. Each day she strengthened her emotional wall.

She placed the engagement ring she once wore proudly back into that silver box and closed the lid, and thus ended that part of her life. He was gone, and no greater power could resurrect him.

It became a struggle to get through the basic grind without the love of her life, but she adjusted to feeling emptiness inside. She never stopped thinking of Russell, for his memory was all that kept her from falling into the endless well of desolation.

Being happy and reliving their memories would eventually be drowned out by a flood of sorrow and loneliness. She cursed the unforgiving and cruel God. Though her faith was gone, she also cursed the man who took her life away, damning his soul to burn for eternity in the pits of Hell.

****

“Lisa, please listen to me. I can explain everything if you give me the chance,” he pleaded.

She resisted, trying to get out of his firm grip without causing a scene. Knowing the window was closing, he spoke swiftly. “Your mother passed away when you were eleven. Your aunt raised you until she died in your senior year of high school. Your brother’s name is Ed, your sister’s is Emily. We went to that bed and breakfast every spring break. The first time there, I laid out rose pedals from the front door up to our room and proposed to you.”

Her mind deadened to the point of not being able to think rationally. Reluctantly, Lisa sat and looked at him as a whirlwind of conflicting feelings swirled in her head. She thought she was spiraling into her void of emotions, and there was nothing that was going to stop it. She opened her heart too quickly and now was paying for it with pain. She could not cast away what he told her, for Russell was the only boy she opened up to.

“Months went by after I got out of the hospital. I fought the grief of knowing that I was still alive, but my real parents thought I was dead. I struggled each day with the thought of them crying over my grave, and there was nothing I could do about it. I adapted to my new family, my new mother and father. They believed that their son, the body I am in now, suffered from amnesia as a result of his overdose. In reality, he died. His heart stopped for a few minutes and that’s when I entered his body. It was instantaneous for me. I saw the headlights, a flash, and then I woke up in the hospital.

“Years went by, I became Michael, but my soul and my memories remained Russell, but that’s not all I had to deal with. Michael had overdosed because he could not bear to live with what he had done four years earlier. I only know that because he left a note. That note was how I put it all together myself.” He paused, and stared intently at Lisa, whose pale face made it appear as if she was ready to faint. “Lisa,” he continued. “Michael was the one who hit me that night. He couldn’t —“

“Why are you doing this to me?” she barked. “Tell me. What the fuck is the purpose of this?”

She gulped down the last of her wine and slammed the glass on the table, no longer concerned if she made a scene or not. “I have no idea how you know all of this, but is this how you get your sick kicks you son-of-a-bitch?” she scolded.

She stormed out of the restaurant. The world spun around her. She sat on a bench as a cool breeze swept over her. Her face, buried in her hands, hid the shame. The wall she worked so hard to build had been compromised.

As soon as his firm hand came to rest on her shoulder, she twisted her body away from him. “Leave me the fuck alone, or I’ll call the cops,” she threatened, swatting his hand off her.

“I know how hard this must be for you to take in, but let me finish, please.” He pleaded taking a seat next to her. “What was it that we always said?” he asked. “I’ll tell you. In love, trust is a must. If I ever lied, it would make you cry.”

Tears flowed freely from Lisa’s swollen eyes as he muttered those words. It was the exact phrase they repeated many times, in a tone that resembled her lost love.

“I missed you so much. Not one day passed that you were not on my mind. I wanted to find you, but I knew what you must have been going through, so I kept my distance.” He gently placed his hand on her shoulder once more, and this time she did not brush it off. “I know how difficult this is for you, but I need you to look me in the eyes, Lisa.”

She uncovered her eyes and peered at him through her tears. There were no sparkles, just a slight glimmer of light. His inner soul came to light. Looking not at that person sitting next to her but at the person on the inside; her heart gave in.

“Russell?” she wept.

He responded with a simple smile and a nod of his head. The sight of the man that killed her Russell rattled her to the core. Conflict raged within her. The devotion and undeniable love for Russell grabbed at her, while the anger at looking at the man responsible for taking him away was unbearable.

“I love you, baby,” he said. “If I give you a kiss, and you truly believe in your heart that it’s me, you will let out that little sigh.”

She shut her eyes and let her heart lead the way. The soft, tenderness of his lips touched hers, and the protective wall collapsed around her. Their lips separated as she let out a brief sigh.

“This can’t be true,” she doubted.

“I won’t lose you again,” he promised soundly.

She looked at the man she once found striking, but now repulsed her. She could not, and would not, forget what Michael had done, but also could not ignore the feelings that rumbled inside her. These emotions, especially love, became a burden once again. They always were. They always will be.

Interview with Birgitta Sunding.

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing, Birgitta Sunding. Birgitta has been a blast to work with as producer for the film adaptation of Morium. But being a producer is not the only thing she has on her plate. 

Could you tell my readers a little about yourself?

IMG_20170823_071948I am a Swedish Dane, entrepreneur, chef and the last 15 years I have been working in the Entertainment industry as talent manager, film producer, casting director, author, actor and singer.

Wow. That’s a lot. How do you fit all that on your plate?

First of I am a serious workaholic, I enjoy everything I do, that way it’s easy. I time manage, I accept that I can’t do more than what hours I am given, so being an octopus and able to multitask is a tremendous talent. But I’m human, blonde and I fail too.

How did you get into the entertainment industry?

Well, it all started once upon a time, lol. I lived in Denmark, ran a catering business in my spare time. I used to book entertainment for my clients. One day it just hit me. I was doing it as a free service; the booking of agents, managers and talent was earning money off my service. I started by cutting out middleman by collecting direct contacts to entertainers and soon one musician asked if I would manage him because I was getting him more jobs than anyone else. That was the sweet start!

Could you tell my readers what the process is for making a film?

The process varies of course, but to be short and blunt about it. Someone either gets an idea, writes a script or will hire someone to do it, or as in your case, someone wrote a book that can be adapted to a screenplay. When the script is all good to show off, one has to try get the whole idea “sold” to many financiers, investors, to a production company, or a studio. Along the way, a producer or more will be attached, a director as well. When monies are in the house for pre-production, the ball can start rolling to get crew, department heads and miscellaneous crew added. When the casting director is ready, the lead roles above the line, as it’s called on a film/TV budget, will be cast. Then when all is green lighted for start, a shooting schedule is coordinated and approx. 7 weeks of filming will start (unless a longer production is needed for a more BIG film or ongoing TV series etc.) lastly post production will be set in motion to edit and polish of the end product and the actually selling of the production will be done too (most time its dealt with along the way to ensure deal)

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What do you look for when reading a script?

The first 3-5 pages has to make me urge to want to read to the end. Then I try imagine how an audience will react to it. It has to have good characters and well written dialogue, regardless of genre. The story has to be good, it has to have the genres depth, and it has to be able to make me visualize the end product. I must be able to see in my head who it is written for both as cast and audience. It must touch my emotions: laughter, fear, love, lust, sorrow, disgust, anger, joy etc. Also I need to feel it is bankable. But as said before, the story must appeal to me. Be solid!

What projects are you currently working on?

Well I can’t go into all, but I’m working on two book to film productions. Yours called Morium, Laney Smiths Lock Creek Stories, Jackie O’ The true Hollywood Story, Laud The Deaf Guy, Dizzy Queen B, Facades and writing 2 books, scripts and of course with our talent clients.

You mentioned you’re a chef. What is your favorite dish to make?

I have many Steve I must admit, but since I turned Flexitarian I do mostly Vegan during the week. I am at the moment very much into doing vegan sushi. But to create new dishes, with different flavors and textures, is just up my street. I tend to make “Pheasant food fit for Kings and Queens” which is by way the tittle of my upcoming cook book.

Tough question. What do you enjoy the best? Cooking or Entertainment?

Golly gosh, you sure know how to put a woman on the spot, lol. I can’t really say because to me they are both great source and necessity for life… my life. To me they go together. I mean how many TV dinners is made each day and, need I go on?

What is the toughest part of being a producer?

Patience! Not mine because I understand that one need to have patience in this industry but to try convince writers, other producers, cast etc. to have patience. Most of the time what we need patience for is all about the money, the finances. And to be frank, one also need patience dealing with folk who tell you they are interested, that they have the money, that they will give it to you and then the disappear from the face of the earth after you spent 4011 hours on them. One may have to have years of patience and be happy with it. Patience is a virtue in showbiz!!

Are you patient person?

Some say far to patient, check the dictionary under patience and you’ll find my name! To a degree like everyone else, but due to the person I am, it is very, very, very long indeed! But never so patient I lose a deal though. With men I’m like far to patient, lol. When there is something or someone I want or need, my patience extend beyond belief.

What do you think has been your greatest accomplishment in the entertainment business?

Making a gob smacking fool of myself in front of millions of viewers on a sky channel program on Pancake day back in the 80’s when I had to toss a pancake that the crew had glued on to the pan as revenge for all the pranks I pulled on them. My greatest accomplishment … is probably due any time soon, lol.

So much for nonstick pans, lol

Yes! LOL

Day at the beach or a night in front of the fireplace?


With family and friends, it’s a day at the beach, but story telling in front of the fireplace in my comfy chair or on a soft rug with a handsome knight in rusty armor, that must be heaven. Plus add a bottle of W40 to take the noise off the rusty hinges. (Lol)

Romantic movie or action?

An action packed romantic comedy is all me. I’m like all over. But comedy beats it all!

Did you ever see Grumpy Old Men with Matthau and Lemmon or Mrs. Browns Boys?

Favorite film of all time?

Muriel’s Wedding, Casablanca and The 100 year old man.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to be here.

Why Thank you for having me, that was fun and a first via Twitter.

You can find Birgitta on social media.

Artista Group – Facebook

RubioRex Productions – Facebook

Birgitta Sunding – Facebook

Twitter

IMDB

Linkedin

 

 

 

 

 

Crash course in script writing.

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Now that was an interesting journey. Writing a movie script from your own book,  I assumed it would be a piece of cake. I was wrong. Way wrong. I studied. Read articles. Watched videos day and night and believed it would be as easy as simply transferring the concept into a need little 130 page screenplay. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Trouble I found was, as being a writer, I wanted to go into detail every little thing. Wanted to write what the characters were thinking. Just read that last sentence again. At the beginning, that was my biggest downfall. My brain was still in book mode. Like switching from my YA to adult romance mode, I needed to close the door sort of speak, and open the next to a different room of thought.

First, I needed to stop writing thoughts. Yes I know, should have been common sense knowing that viewers can’t read characters thoughts. Well, it can be done, but in terms of what I was writing, it’d come out messy. Anyway, I needed to train my mind to put those thoughts into words, and actions. Lexi thoughts of being mentally beat, and wanting nothing more to do with her life, needed to be brought forward with actions, and sometimes, words. In some cases, sections were not included because of it being all thought based. In other times, I needed a scene to be expanded.

That brings me to the next part, which, bleeds into the one above. Most of the time copying dialogue word for word didn’t work. Yes, there we’re times where I could, but for the most part, it didn’t. There were occasions that called upon me to change the dialogue to fit the before mentioned thought scenes. That is where the challenge laid. Once I managed to get comfortable in my mindset, I started to breeze through the last half of the script.

Finally, every author looks back on their first book and says to themselves, “I could’ve done that part so much better.” Come on, admit it, we’ve all said it. As I was reading through MORIUM, I found myself with those thoughts. This gave me the chance to correct some of what I believed, could have been done better. In the script, there is one particular scene, which I can’t divulge, that packs more emotional punch than the book and really shows the friendship between the characters.

That was my first journey into script writing. What started as a chore at first, turned into a fun and exciting learning experience. It is now in the hands of my producer, to ship off for interest. When / if it goes into pre-production, it will go through a script doctor to flesh out the final version.  In the meantime, I kept the script true to the book. I’m sure, or at least I’m hoping, my skills will sharpen as I adapt the other two books.

Thanks for reading, and in whatever your journey is, may the wind be at your back.

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A.M. Manay, She Marches Through Fire Book Tour

It’s my pleasure to be the first stop on A.M. Manay’s book tour to promote the third book in the November Snow Series. For those who have not had a chance to read these truly amazing books, do yourself a favor and pick them up. I was hooked after book one, which is on my list as one of the best indie books I read in 2016. A.M. is a gifted author and has taken the vampire genre and gave it a fresh new spin.

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Title: She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3)

Series: November Snow

Author: A.M. Manay

Cover design: A.M. Manay

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Genre: Supernatural fantasy

Mini-blurb: Psychic vampire November Snow must battle grief, injury, and her own family as she fights evil on all sides. She seeks a cure for the poison sapping her strength and a fairy weapon as powerful as it is dangerous to wield. When it is time to save the innocent and gain justice for her maker, will she find the strength to march through the fire?

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER at most booksellers: books2read.com/u/4AgGAN

Trailer link: https://youtu.be/m9gxWk0Q1m8

She Marches Tablet

Excerpt

Hector was coming out of his skin, buzzing with rage.  “Do you honestly expect me to just sit here and let Luka sleep when I could be tearing his throat out?” he demanded.

“That is precisely what I expect you to do,” was Gul’s even-toned reply.  

“And shouldn’t we be calling the in the feds?  He committed a terrorist act against the human government,” Jaime insisted.  “At some point, he has to answer for that.  He could still have co-conspirators out there doing God knows what.  We’re harboring a fugitive at the top of the most wanted list.  Until a few days ago, I carried a badge.  I know I don’t have any authority here, but this whole scenario makes me seriously uncomfortable.”

“November’s been poisoned, we suspect with something William got from one of Luka’s people.  We need the antidote.  We may also need Luka’s blood.  For now, we need him alive and with us.  And there is no human jail that could hold him,” Gul explained patiently.

“He murdered everyone I ever cared about!” Hector growled.

“And a great many others besides,” Gul acknowledged.  “And I hope, one day, to help you get justice.  But today is not that day.  November’s life is worth more than vengeance.”  Gul paused before adding, “I intend to make Luka pay dearly for any mercy he gets today, I assure you.”

Hector took a deep breath and ran both hands through his shaggy hair.  Pine placed a hand on his love’s lower back.  “You’re right,” Hector finally sighed.  “But I don’t like it.  Just keep him the hell away from me.”  The werewolf then stalked out of the basement, taking out his anger on the stairs and rattling the whole house.

“He’s not going to be the last person you have to talk out of killing him tonight, I suspect, dear husband,” Raina pointed out sleepily.  The eldest vampire in the room, she had just woken, a bit ahead of the others.  She quickly disentangled herself from her still-slumbering siblings.

She gave Gul a peck on the cheek and crossed the room to a large suitcase from which she removed an ancient-looking leather case and a pair of black calfskin gloves.  “Maybe seeing him in this will cheer Hector up.”

Gul shook his head, amused.  “Woman, is there anywhere you don’t haul that along?”

“Well, this time it’s actually useful!” she retorted.  “We don’t want Luka slithering off before we’re done with him, do we?”

Gul nodded, and his wife quickly gloved her hands and locked her brother into a set of antique silver stocks.  She closed them first around his ankles, then reached for his hands and pulled his inert form forward, binding his wrists into the diabolical device.  She searched him for weapons and pulled out his fairy-forged dagger in its leather sheath.  “I remember this thing,” she sighed.  “Nasty bit of work.”  She hung the sheath on her belt, stood straight, removed the gloves, and looked down next at her sister.  

“Savita was in a bad way this morning.  I don’t imagine dusk will find her much better,” she reported to the others.

“Greg is sleeping in the van.  Hopefully he will be able to console her in her grief,” Gul answered.

“It isn’t just that, unfortunately,” Raina sighed.  “Apparently William did not just murder his own maker.  He also slew mine.  Savita knew and kept his secret, to her now-eternal regret.”

Pine whispered, “Holy shit.  William killed Queen Marisha?”

Gul’s eyebrow met his hairline, and he shook his head.  “What a tangled mess.”

“We excel at that in my family,” Raina replied.  “I can’t even manage to hate Savita properly for keeping her mouth shut.  William, on the other hand . . . William is in for a reckoning.”  Her normally cheerful eyes were hard and determined.

“As I told Hector, justice is unfortunately a job for another day,” Gul said gently.  He pulled his wife toward him, and she consented to rest her head briefly against his shoulder.

“Speaking of Hector, I’d better check on him,” Pine said worriedly. 

“Could you carry Savita out to the van while you’re at it?” Raina asked.  “And shake Greg awake.  She’s going to need him when she rises.”

Pine placed Savita over his shoulder and bounded up the stairs two at a time.  After the handoff to Greg, he found his boyfriend in the backyard, taking an ax to a tree stump.  Chips flew into the air.  The western sky was all pinks and oranges behind him.

“Hey,” Pine called.  He was careful to stay out of ax range.

Hector left the blade embedded in the wood and turned around to face Pine.  “Hey.”

Pine crossed the grass and embraced the larger man.  Hector buried his face in Pine’s neck before  whispering, “I can’t do this.  I can’t look at his smirking face and not bash it in.”

“Yeah.  I know.  I think we should split up.  You and I can go with Greg and Savita, take her to Eden to recover.  Let Gul and Raina deal with Luka and finding a cure for November.  We’ll be more nimble and attract less attention in smaller groups.”

“I don’t want November to think I abandoned her,” Hector replied, his voice stronger as he regained control of his emotions.  “She saved my life.”

“She won’t think that.  I’m pretty sure she’ll understand better than anyone.  She was there, after all.  She saw what Luka did to your people.”

Hector took a shuddering deep breath.  “Fair enough.”

“Raina has Luka clapped in silver.  Looks like some kind of a medieval torture device.  It’s kind of nice to see the tables turned on the smug bastard,” Pine offered tentatively.  “You could go throw rocks at him or something.  Knives from the kitchen.  Furniture.  Whatever comes to mind.”

“You fairies, always looking on the bright side,” Hector said, managing a weak smile.

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In addition to her work as an award-winning indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption.  She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don’t depend on romance as their reason for being.

Be the first to know about the release of the upcoming sequel as well as bonus material about your favorite characters by 

Checking out her website: http://www.ammanay.net

Signing up for the fan email list: November’s News

Following the author on Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites

Following the author on Twitter: @ammanay

Following the author on Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay

Following her Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ammanay

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Interview with Martha Perez

Today’s interview is with the wonderful, Martha Perez.

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Could you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

I was born in raised in Los Angeles, CA. and now live in West Covina, CA with my husband Sal Andalon and my dog Sugar Bear. I have a son, a daughter and two granddaughters. My hobbies include reading, writing exercise and long walks. Broken Pieces is my first book, and is an accomplishment of which I’m very proud.

How many books do you have out?

Broken Pieces

What inspired me to write such a dark and heart wrenching story was my journey of my own life Abby’s a part of me I will always love and treasure this story.  It was tough being a child no one wanted an alcoholic dad that I truly loved. It’s poignant he loved more his drinking than his daughters. I created Abby made this story fiction because I added plots to make the story flow so in the end it could come together.

 Abby lived in a dysfunctional family gets bullied in school she always felt she wasn’t loved or hugged or paid attention to. She grew up thinking she wasn’t worthy to be loved or give love. Abby’s dad gets married to a woman he didn’t love she becomes Abby’s nightmare a monster that hates her and tries to kill her because she was jealous of her. There are so many emotions in this story so many shredded tears. Abby is a fighter someone that could stand in her own two feet and show the world! She is really strong with a huge heart regardless what happened to her.

Broken Heart

What inspired me to write Broken Heart when my daughter read my book she told me what happens to the rest of the characters, immediately I stared to write Broken Heart I truly had so much fun writing this story about Rick Owen he’s gorgeous with a sex addiction an alcoholic he had so much pain in his heart only wanted someone to love him. Always wanted to write erotica story, very proud of this meaningful story of love, loss, romance, lust and drama and more turmoil you could handle. 

 What do you hope readers take away after reading your books?

I hope they relay to my stories there are so many dysfunctional families and abuse, that there not alone. All my books have a message 

Did you sit down and start writing it right away, or did you plot story the out?

Good question. I didn’t write the story right away this story has been with me for a while. I knew it would be tough so I took my time. I was certain how the story would begin and how it would end, writing your own story comes with lots of tears and emotions. I made it fictional because some characters and plots were fiction.

Did you find it difficult to write broken pieces since it is a part of you?

Writing this story was very difficult I wrote it with such emotion my heart was telling me to write such a dark story because truth is told I was carrying my story on my shoulder for so long, I just wanted to let go and be free. When I finished my story, I felt the freedom in my heart it may had been the hardest thing I ever done in all my life, it was worth the tears because it set me free.

Do you have future books in the works?

I do have my third book Broken Dreams coming soon!  It’s part of the series of Broken Pieces it will be the last of the series. I just started writing another book hopefully by next year it will be finished.

What will Broken Dreams be about?

Broken Dreams is about Josh and Emily. Josh has a dark side he hates Emily and yet he married her to torment her she loves him thinking she will change him. Josh has a best friend that is in love with Emily Trevor is scared to tell her he truly loves her.  Josh and Trevor start to share women drinking, drugs this story will be about domestic violence it will also be erotica.

What do you hope readers take away after reading your books?

I hope they could relate with my stories there more reality of life. There is so many dysfunctional families, so much abuse. I could only hope that they take these stories that there not alone there is lots of help just have to ask for it. Everyone has a story to tell all of my reviews have been positive feedback. All my books have a message in the end.

What do you like about being a self published author?

I like the freedom to control your own book. The creativity and the learning process and promotion it’s been an exciting journey.

And the worse part?

I think the promoting part is tough being a new author it’s been a very learning experience.

Have you always been a writer at heart?

I am going to say yes and no in the past I would say no, now I believe I’m a writer at heart.

Thank you Martha for taking the time to stop by. You can follow Martha on her social media sites.

www.marthaperez.info

www.brokenpieces.rocks

https://www.facebook.com/people/Martha-Perez/100011138110974

https://twitter.com/marthaperez0609

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15162126.Martha_Perez/blog

 

 

Interview with Ingrid Foster

Today I have the pleasure of talking to Ingrid Foster. I’ve known Ingrid since the beginning of my writing career and one of the nicest writers you’d ever want to meet. Along with being a wonderful author.

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Hello, my name is Ingrid Foster and I’m an Author of the Dark Desert Tales collection and the Esme Bohlin fantasy suspense series. 

Congratulations on winning the, Hot off my Kindle Award for best horror book.

Thank you, S.J., I am truly honored! It’s wonderful to know my readers appreciate my work. Like most authors, my stories are truly a part of me and it’s nice to be recognized. Actually, I think I’m still getting over the surprise. 

It’s a wonderful short story. How did Fresh Meat come to be?

Before we moved to the desert, my husband and I use to live in an apartment complex in a small town south of Tucson. While walking our dog late one afternoon, I noted a small flock of turkey vultures circling the grove of cottonwood trees next to the complex. As we walked closer, I realized the birds were roosting in the trees…and like most “what-if” writers, I thought, “What if they lived in those trees and what if someone were feeding them much like they do wild songbirds? And so, Fresh Meat was born. 🙂 

Did you start writing it right away?

Yes, actually, I was taking a course through Long Ridge Writers Group and used Fresh Meat as an assignment. The original word limit was 1500 words, that’s why the story seems short. I actually embellished and changed the original ending prior to publishing it. I didn’t make any other changes because to do so would take away from the original intent, I wanted to write a sort of Brothers Grimm does the desert with my collection. I’ve got three other stories in various writing stages that I’m currently working on.

Interested in telling us the original ending?

Well, in the original ending we don’t get to the part where Mary is eaten by her birds. Instead, the story cuts off to his teacher taking attendance at school the next morning and discovering that Timmy is not in his seat.The following scene has the Sheriff taking a statement from his distraught aunt and the Sheriff thinking about all the missing boys with no knowledge of what’s happening to them. 

Interesting. You stated that you have writings in various stages. Do you write more than one story at a time?

My imagination is always writing and sometimes a story will come to me that I have to write down. When I get to a point where the story seems blocked, I’ll set it aside for a while and work on another story.

You write every day?

Yes, I have to. Otherwise, I feel my creative muscles get rusty. As long as I keep writing everyday, even if only a couple sentences,, my writing continues to flow.

Your two short stories, Fresh Meat and A Home for Rose are not the only novels you have out. Could you tell us about your first full length book?

 My first full length book is a fantasy suspense entitled, My Father’s Magic. It’s about an inadequate sorceress who, while mourning her father’s death, finds a mysterious key and the directions to a family home she’s never heard of. There she meets an obnoxious stranger who claims to have been her childhood best friend and discovers a family she never knew she had…and then the adventure begins! 

Is fantasy your genre of choice?

Not necessarily, I’ve got a horror novel I’m dying to finish and a YA science fiction that is on the back-burner. I just love to write the “What ifs,” allowing my imagination to go wild while fingers type like crazy to catch up. 

Lol. The fingers are never quick enough to catch up to your brain when you’re a writer.

Exactly! And then there’s the interruptions at night. While editing My Father’s Magic, I can’t tell you how many nights that happened, but hey, I got some of my best plot corrections that way.

So many plus and minuses being a self-published author. What do you see as the pluses and minuses?

To me, the most important plus is that I call the shots. It’s my life and my businesses and as much as I’d love to turn this into a lucrative endeavor, the bottom line is I love to write and I write the type of stories I myself love to read. For an agent or publisher, it’s all about the financial bottom line. For me, it’s all about the story. On the flip-side, Self-Publishing and being an Independent Author is hard, really hard. We have to pay for everything up front out of our own pockets and hope someone will read, review and share their enjoyment of our stories with their friends. We must rely on word of mouth. This is not a career choice, this is a passion.When I was seventeen, I was full into writing, mostly poetry, but the story teller in me was finding her way through. Then, due to intense familial pressure, I put my writing aside. There’s more to this story and it’s too personal to share, but it took me 25 years to find my voice again and allow that wall that I put up between myself and my writing to be knocked down. And I must say, those were twenty-five of the worst years of my life. Without passion, what does anyone have?

What can readers expect from you in 2017?

Okay, first things first, I’ve got a new cover for My Father’s Magic and will be re-releasing the novel on Kindle eBook with plans to launch it into the Apple, Nook market and then make it available for print on demand. 

As for Dark Desert Tales, 2017 will see the release of the Dark Desert Tales Collection featuring three more stories, one of which is a novella I’ve been working on, as well Fresh Meat and A Home for Rose.

Before I let you go, it’s time for a rapid fire quiz. Keep the answers to under a sentence.

Okay, shoot.

To coffee or not to coffee. Do you need it when you write?

Oh Yes! and Yogi’s Raspberry Passion tea.

The latest you’ve been up writing?

I’m a morning person so the earliest has been 3:30 AM.

The number of times you’ve banged your head on the keyboard because you couldn’t think of that one word you need.

Countless! and I will never shave my head because of the scars.

Talk out loud to yourself as you write?

Does laughing count or crying…yes, absolutely!

Because of what you’re writing or just being crazy because of being over tired. Lol.

I love my characters, they truly keep me sane and I know that if I laugh, swoon or cry, I’m doing something right in my writing.

Favorite character from your books?

Honestly, don’t make me pick! They are all so unique, but if I had a favorite to “play” with, it would be Natasha in MY FATHER’S MAGIC. She’s my favorite bad girl.

Thank you so much Ingrid for taking the time tonight.

Thank you, SJ, I truly appreciate your time and the opportunity!

Wishing you the best for a successful 2017.

Thank you. You, too!

You can find Ingrid on her social media sites.

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/Ingrid-Foster/e/B01E5U69K0/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ingridfoster

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IngridFosterAuthor/

Website – http://ingridfostersworld.blogspot.com/

 

KJ Waters in Depth

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KJ Waters is the Amazon best-selling author of the short-story called Blow and #1 best-seller Stealing Time. The second book in the series, Shattering Time, is in development and is slated to be released in the spring of 2017.

In addition to her writing, she is the CEO of Blondie’s Custom Book Covers and the co-host of the popular podcast Blondie and the Brit.

She has a Master’s in Business and over 15 years of experience in the marketing field. Before quitting her job to raise a family and work on writing she was the Director of Marketing and communications for a national behavioral healthcare company.

 

Where to find KJ Online:

  1. Websites:http://www.kjwaters.com http://www.blondieandbrit.com/ http://www.blondiebooks.com/
    1. Twitter:@kamajowa @blondiebookcov @blondieandbrit @bbreaders
    2. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/kjwaters2, Author site: https://www.facebook.com/KJ-Waters-206720056103502/, Podcast site: https://www.facebook.com/blondieandbrit/, Book cover site: https://www.facebook.com/BlondiesCustomBookCovers/,
    3. LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/kj-waters-12098360
    4. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kamajowa
    5. Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kamajowa/
    6. Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112103036688986846213
  2. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11164130.K_J_Waters 1,
  3. Blog:Blondie in the Water kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com

 

Books

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  1. STEALING TIME
  • Currently has 58 reviews on USA Amazon with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Reached #1 for Time Travel in August 2016 as a free book

Blurb:

Stealing Time is a “Breathtakingly original” time travel adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. As Hurricane Charley churns a path of destruction towards Orlando, Florida, Ronnie Andrews and her best friend, Stephanie McKay, scramble to prepare for the storm. Ronnie seeks shelter at her boyfriend’s weather lab while Steph heads back to her house. 
During the peak of the storm, Ronnie is hurtled back in time to eighteenth-century London where she is caught in a web of superstition, deception, and lies in a life and death struggle to return to her own time. 
Steph is thrust into the middle of the hurricane, but it quickly turns into a living nightmare as she is faced with losing everything. Stealing Time: Book 1 in the Stealing Time Series.

Book Linker: myBook.to/StealingTimebyKJWaters

Barnes and Noble: BN

iTunes: iTunes

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  1. Blow – A Short Story –
  • Currently has 20 reviews on US Amazon with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.
  • Reached #8 on Amazon shortly after its release in one subcategory. Top 100 in 3 categories. July 2016 reached #13 in Teen and Young Adult Short Reads.

 BLOW — A SHORT STORY

Caught between a hurricane and a deadly secret, Rick Harris struggles against a ticking clock when the wrong people show up at his door looking for shelter. As the storm closes in wreaking havoc on Pensacola, Florida, he has to make a choice between saving their lives and exposing a secret that could cost him everything.

Linker link: myBook.to/BlowbyKjWaters

Amazon links: http://www.amazon.com/Blow—-Short-Story-Waters-ebook/dp/B01DYDFO6Y/

Barnes and Noble:BN

iTunes: iTunes

 

Series Blurbs

Book 1 — Stealing Time – Released December 2014, paperback March 2015
Stealing Time, Ronnie Andrews moves to central Florida and three days later she is hit by Hurricane Charley. During the storm, she inexplicably goes back in time to 1752 London where she is accused of being a witch. She has the help of her sister-in-law’s cousin, Mathias, who does everything he can to help her escape the iron fist of the law.

 

Short Story 1 — Blow – Released April 2016

This book was published with the idea to bring my audience back before releasing Shattering Time. It was way more successful that I originally planned. It as a side story about Hurricane Ivan that also hit that summer but not in the same location at Ronnie and Jeffrey. Rick Harris, the character from Blow, is tied to Jeffrey in a way that is hinted at in the story. You will see more of Rick in Splintering Time.

Rick Harris is faced with a devastating choice between revealing a deep dark secret and saving the lives of his friends, one of them an undercover cop. As Hurricane Ivan ramps up, Rick watches his house sustain irreparable damage and memories of the Mexican dessert are jostled loose while he hides the illegal stash from his past.

 

Book 2 — Shattering Time—Spring 2017

The second book, Shattering Time, continues when Ronnie returns from 1752 London shell-shocked and left wondering if she really went back in time. Hurricane Francis is barreling towards Florida and is the size Texas, and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Brennan, manipulates her into staying in Orlando for the storm so he can continue the experimentation on the time travel device. With such a huge storm Jeffrey has an entire weekend to send Ronnie back in time facing sharks, the plague, the great fire of London, and a brush with the missing Roanoke Colony, one of our country’s first unsolved mysteries. A stunning conclusion brings Ronnie face to face with a dangerous ally who is somehow a part of her past.

Short Story 2 – Untitled – Spring 2017

This will be released in between books two and three to keep readers engaged and will continue where Blow left off with Hurricane Ivan devastating the Gulf Coast of Florida. Rick has a bag of cocaine in his pocket and two AK-47’s strapped across his back and the horror of the storm damage to fuel his will for survival.

Book 3 — Splintering Time (temporary title) – 80,000 words written in first draft The third book joins Ronnie just after Hurricane Francis where Ronnie is questioning her sanity. Adding to her angst her mother reveals that her father’s death five years ago was not from natural causes, but may be from a mental illness much like what Ronnie is experiencing with the episodes of time travel.

She escapes the never ending stream of storms in Florida to join her boss, Mike Walsh, on a business trip to Puerto Rico. She is running away from her time travel experiences and troubles with her boyfriend, Jeffrey, and straight into the eye of Hurricane Jeanne as it forms off the coast of Puerto Rico. Trapped on the island with mudslides, a severely damaged power grid, and Mike Walsh, who on the surface seems to be a nice guy but something Jeffrey has unearthed has left Ronnie fearful of her safety around Mike. With no one else to turn to she must rely on him to survive the storm and is forced to make a life and death choice forever changing her path.

Fractured Time – Concept

Book four finds Mike in a coma in Puerto Rico and lost in 1752 London. Ronnie heads back to the States where her sanity tested when circumstances brought about in Puerto Rico haunt her, literally. Strange things happen around her and mysterious clues connected to her father’s death materialize leading Ronnie to question everything she thought she knew about him. With Hurricane Jeanne poised to make landfall in the same location Hurricane Francis hit only a few weeks before, can Ronnie solve the mystery, prove her sanity, and rescue Mike before it is too late?

Listen to my interview with KJ and co-host MJ LaBeff

The day that changed how I look at Darth Vader.

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There is something that has been burned into my mind for the past few weeks and I’ve been meaning to write about it since. Why? I wanted to write about it and find out if there are other fans out there that felt the same way I did after watching what I did.

It’s been a few weeks since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped in theaters so I want to write about something that happened in the movie that is still ringing in my brain. If you haven’t seen it, stop here if you don’t want to be spoiled with the probably, no, the best minute to minute and a half of cinema history of 2016, if not of all time. I’ll add that it’s the best scene ever in a Star Wars movie.

Before I get to that part, let me just say that Rogue One exceeded my expectations. I’m not going to go into a full movie review, but I’ll just say that it doesn’t eclipse Empire Strikes Back as the best Star Wars film. It’s choppy beginning prevents it from taking the top spot. It does however slide into third place behind A New Hope. Perhaps even eclipse it based on what I’m about to write.

Okay, now that that’s done, let’s move on to Mr. Vader himself, who is the focus of the what I have been talking about. Since the beginning of Star Wars back in 77, we’ve been told how much of a badass Darth Vader was. Ever since then, Star Wars fans have been waiting to see it. I’ve been waiting to see it, and Rogue One delivers in a big way.

I’ll admit, as a man some movie scenes choke me up if done probably. Mostly nostalgia. When Vader ignited his Lightsaber and went to work on those poor Rebel soldiers, I was literally on the edge of my seat, grinning from ear to ear. I don’t usually smile when people are getting cut in half, but watching this powerful scene unfold before my eyes brought a tear to my eye. From the beginning of the corridor scene, to where the soldier held the Death Star plans through a narrow opening before getting impaled, there has never been a movie scene impact me this much.

Silly? To some it may be. But for a series that that many hold dear to their hearts like I do, Darth Vader’s image has been forever changed. After decades of waiting, they finally gave us the Darth Vader we’ve longed to see.

In case you’re wondering.

1 – Empire Strikes Back

2 – A New Hope

3 – Rogue One

4 – The Force Awakens

5 – Revenge of the Sith

6 – Return of the Jedi

7 – Attack of the Clones

8 – Phantom Menace

When your characters become family

As I sprint to the finish line with the last chapters of the final Morium book, I came to the realization that the next novel will complete the story with the characters that have become like family to me. The teenagers who were born inside my head over a year ago are about to slide off into the final book of existence in my mind. Or will they?

It may seem strange, or even bizarre, that one can become attached to fictional characters. As an author of a trilogy, it can, or in my case, did become a reality. I became part of them, understood them, reasoned with them, and even in a few instances, argued with them as if they were real teenagers. Sound strange? It shouldn’t. I had imaginary conversations with these teens determining if they would really act like I wanted them to. I would say this, they responded with that. It was a tug of war that raged in my writing mind. In time they had become my family. They had become my kids.

 I became sad when they did and even shared a laugh or two. I related to their pain, their sorrow, and offered them guidance when I could, often wanting to hold them and let the rain of my love come down upon them. I wanted to cover my daughters arms in an attempt to stop her from cutting away her sorrows. To be there when my son came home from school, to have his full attention for him to talk about his problems. To let them know everything will be all right, and that even in life’s darkest times, there is always the glimmer of light known as hope.

Observing my teenagers take on unexpected responsibilities was painful as a father to watch. One used strong moral believes to carry her while battling uncontrollable emotions. The other, while understanding of his rage, became addicted to the drug of life, of souls.

Did I fail as a father? Only time will tell. There is one thing that is certain, these teenagers will always be a part of my life. They will always be on my mind long after I have let them loose.

Am I crazy? No, I’m a writer. A writer becomes their characters. A writer is an actor who uses words to fill many different roles.

Until next time, may the wind be at your backs wherever your journey may take you.

 

The Lasting effects of Bullying

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It was a walk I dreaded every day. The large intimidating brick walls caused me to slow my approach. My stomach would tighten, and my breathing quickened. I would tense up to the point where I felt like a board. My strides became shorter the closer I got; my nerves, already cracked, start to crumble a piece at a time. Others walk past, unaffected by what looms in front of them. They do not have the worries I have. They do not understand the dread this day could bring.

As I entered this chamber of horrors, the eyes of many peer at me, or so it seemed. I felt like an outcast, easy pickings due to my shy and quiet manner. My esteem, once bright in my younger years, have dimmed until they have become a faint distant glow. I hear laughter and wonder, and I know, that they are directed at me. I am afraid to look at who is snickering at my expense. Sometimes I believed that I was stronger than what I’ve become, that I was brave enough to stand up for myself. But as it always happens, I hear the words that shatter my illusions. I’m left to face these trials alone.

I get to my first destination of the day. I sit staring at paper, at times etching a drawing just to get my mind off what awaits. There are a few more giggles behind me, but I try to ignore them. You would think that after a year of this intense fear of being mocked, I would have become numb to it. You would be wrong. It gets worse as each day passes. I could tell my teachers, but that may bring more retaliation. I did not want that.

I made it through another day of verbal abuse and being laughed at behind my back. I thankfully enter the sanctuary of my room, the day repeating itself in my fragile mind. Maybe what they say is true… that I am ugly, my speech is not good. It must be true, since they repeat it every day. I have started to believe it. What’s the point of fighting it? It will never change. Those stinging words will stay with me for the rest of my life.

This is what it could be like for kids every day when they attend school. Bullying is a major problem and its emotional scars can run deep. It’s sad to think that in some situations, the bullying can become so damaging that it will lead to the unthinkable. It damages the emotional being of a fragile child, or teenager, who, at that age, words can do more damage than physical bullying. With social media, it can reach outside the confines of school walls.

Worthlessness, depression, thoughts of suicide are some of the results that can come from ruthless bullying. In some cases, these effects reach far into the adult life of the victims. Some are able to shut the door and lock away those traumatic days, while some carry it with them well into their adult lives.