Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy 5 Years Blood Purple!

This week marked something pretty major in my life. It marked the day my first published novel turned 5 years old.

So much has changed since I first picked up my laptop and started to randomly toss words on the page. I never imagined that this fantasy world I was creating would actually be accepted by readers. As a teen I would write poems and that was pretty much what I stuck to. Well that and oratory speeches for debate. I never pictured what it would be like to create worlds, kill people, discover new lands, all from the comfort of my chair.

The entire experience has been mind blowing on so many levels.

Especially when I look back at where I was in 2011 when I wrote Blood Purple.

English was never my strong subject in school. I loved reading and I did great on content questions and essays but the grammar nuts and bolts were a struggle. This journey through writing really helped that little girl who couldn’t figure out the difference between an adjective and a noun in elementary is rejoicing because now, while yes the nuts and bolts still are a struggle, I have learned to overcome it!

Conquering ones fear is am amazing deal, one that more of us should be doing. One that I should have done a long time ago.

I remember how Blood Purple came to life. I had been laid off of work and I was depressed. I wanted to read a story about Arabic vampires. Vampires were all the trend, you had Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, Dark Hunters, Black Dagger Brotherhood, of course I wanted MORE vampires.

But I couldn’t find any from the Arabic region. My aunt and I had been researching our families journey from Lebanon to America and the idea hit me. If I can’t find the book I want to read I will just write one!

I think I would like to add right here my Aunt has been one of my biggest supporters and is a true source of encouragement. So Thank you Aunt Pam!

Anyway - I took the history my family encountered and twisted it into this new world. A world where God didn’t create humans, the Algula created humans, in their image, and used us in their civil war against one another.

Nikole and Zane, oh how these two characters will forever hold a deep place in my heart. And Leigh and Haydar too.

Probably the best part of all was when my very first true fan, by true fan I mean complete random stranger who sought me out to talk and I didn’t already have a connection with, unveiled a truth in my novel.

She told me that Nikole (the heroine) and Leigh (the villain) were two sides of the same coin and she believed that coin was me.

Dear Ole Laken really made my year that night.

Everyone judges success on something different. I don’t judge it by the number of books I sell but by the experiences created.

Ish - this guy is an awesome fan (and photographer). I met him at one of my first ComicPalooza events in Houston and he has been a loyal follower ever since. I believe he has read the whole (or most of) my Maverick series. And he sure seems to like it because he has been known to send a tweet or two out about it.

The Pasadena, TX library - this place is awesome! They keep my books out on display, invite me to their local events and most of all, have my whole mystery series on their book shelf! Every time I go down there for an event fans come up to me and talk to me about my books. It’s a small town outside of Houston but that town is the best town. No where else do I go and always have someone who recognizes my name.

These are my grading scales about success and why I feel like Blood Purple really helped to make me successful.

Of course the novel itself has its own journey on how it came to be exactly what it is today but that is not a story for this blog. I will say as a first novel it wasn’t the best quality of writing because there was SO much to learn about this process. But the story was true and the characters are purely delightful. When I look at my current works in progress and compare the quality to what I was back in 2011 I see true growth. Growth I can appreciate and feel a sense of accomplishment for.

It takes a strong person to be able to point out a weakness and I know where mine are. But weakness or not, Blood Purple was an amazing adventure, one that I hope never ends.

And the best part of all in my writing ... once in a while, a bad guy gets to win. Rock on you evil villain ... you have your moments too!

You can check out my Blood Series on Amazon free with Kindle Unlimited ...


Monday, September 25, 2017

Parent Handbook?!? Why I Needed One Today

For those of you Mom’s (and Dad’s) out there like me who haven’t been doing this very long don’t you wish there was a handbook? Especially when you have adopted! It’s like so many little things that you just dont realize you are clueless about pop up and give you a quick kick in the rump. Things that are perfectly simple for you but when it is applied to your kid it is like the world went crazy.

Take today for example ... everything started out normal. I woke up at 4am took the dogs outside and fed the cat. Made my hubby his breakfast and lunch and then went upstairs and did a little work on my author stuff and got ready for my real job. 5:30 rolls around and I wake my kiddos up for school. My daughter looks awful super pale and just not well at all. She had some sinus issues yesterday and at 7pm Sunday night I had given her some pseudoephedrine. So naturally I gave her the Day Quil dose for her age and sent her back to bed. I made a doctors apt for her because you know that’s what a responsible parent does when your kid is sick right and off we go at 9:00 to the pediatrician.

My word it just went downhill from there.

Had the ultimate scare of my life when my daughter had her blood pressure reading. 53/26! I thought it was wrong I made them do it again. After her exam the doc didn’t think all was kosher either so she retested the blood pressure, 71/40, still no bueno, so she sent us off to the ER.

LONG story short ... the ER sucked, waiting was FOREVER and a day but the end result is ... for kids on ADHD medication you shoudln’t give them pseudoephedrine products.


This reminds me exactly about the time when Sierra had her first fever with us. I had been giving her Tylenol to help break it but it just wouldn’t go away. So off to the ER in the middle of the night we go. Where the doctor then decides to make me feel like an absolute ass because I didn’t know you were supposed to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Again SHOULDN’T SOMEONE HAVE TOLD ME!!

I don’t know ... I don’t get it ... there are handbooks out there for all sorts of crap and somewhere there should have been one for new moms whose child isn’t an infant.

Just really annoys me deep down that when something happens and I dont know the solution and I seek help from the would be professionals AKA Doctors, that some of them really make me feel like a bad mom for just not knowing.

At the end of the day all is fine Sierra is good and now I know, OTC meds do not always mean their okay even when you follow the directions on the box.

Maybe there should be a PSA about this. I would totally watch that.

Anyone else ever have these kinds of experiences or are they always just happening to me?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Stephen King's Movie Adaptation: IT

Hey there ... Today's review is going to be in the form of an approx 120 second review podcast.

Love to hear your comments on what you thought of the movie too.

Talk soon everyone!

4.5 Stars from me!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Movie Review: The Dark Tower

You know how you sometimes wonder what it's like to be an actor standing around between scenes just horsing around for no reason, that's what this movie was ... unfortunately.

I first want to say, I am not exactly 'sold' on the Dark Tower novels, I have issues with the novels thus far and I am only starting book 3 tonight. So that being said I went into the movie theater hoping that maybe the movie might be better than the book. Because let's face it, there was as shit ton of walking in book 2 and that just got under my skin.

Anyway, I am not sure what the Director/Co-writer Nikolaj Arcel was thinking when he jammed these novels into 95 minutes of nothing. Not one scene was entertaining. My husband just said "I was more entertained by Captian Underpants." Seriously, this film took movie adaptations to an all time low.

How on earth can you have two amazing actors like Academy Award Winning Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba and give them nothing, and I mean NOTHING to work with? Men full of talent and you leaving them just aimlessly passing through the night. It was such a pointless movie and I am sure there will be the one or two, and I legit mean one of two, people out there who loved it, this Stephen King fan and her husband certainly did not.

As an author I was outright mortified at seeing someone's work bastardized like this movie was. As a fan I was saddened and let down that King would allow anyone to ruin his work to this degree.

I won't let this stop me from continuing on with reading the series but this movie certainly wins for least favorite movie of my 34 years of movie watching.

Save your money ... don't waste it on this one. I can't even give it 1 star because there was absolutely nothing redeeming about what they did to these novels.

And even if i hadn't read the books, looking at this as just a movie goer, I still shake my head and wonder what in the hell did I just watch for 95 minutes.

I hope the next King book to get screen time has a better writer and director.

Razzie Award here you come The Dark Tower ... at least you may win something this season.

Signed - a disgruntled reader.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Going Vegan? Just Another LIfestyle Change

( My Daughter, My Motivation )

Some days it feels like trends and fads pop up quicker than we can research them. At the heart of them I strongly feel is the desire to become healthier and manage a higher quality of life. At least that's the case for the trends and fads in my home.

After the past 6 week mental struggle with hearing that Lupus is almost a guarantee part of my future I've been seeking out reasons as to 'why' these auto-immune issues keep happening to me. Why Why Why ... isn't that the great question?

There just ins't a definitive 'why' but there are things to be done to improve the auto-immune turmoil that I feel is my life.

The first step - Acceptance. This is where I have been working towards for five years. First it was acceptance of fertility issues then it was acceptance if insulin resistance then PCOS and on and on. How with the Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis looking back at me it is no different. I've come to understand that I cannot change what is going on in my blood stream all I can change is how my body handles it.

The second step - Being Proactive. Growing up as a Nemer one of the greatest things I feel like I learned from my father was not waiting for life to come at you but being prepared ahead of time. Those who know me really well may tell you I overplan for everything. I am extremely efficient and it isn't often that I am thrown for a massive loop. So when the doc gave me this 'dooms day' revelation that I am probably going to end up with this diagnosis my mind starts to freak out, then it accepts it and now it is time to be proactive. I start reading about diets and a friend of mine gives me this auto-immune diet plan and I think to myself "give up cheese no way!"

Then July 5th happens ... I watch the movie "What The Health" and I squirm and shiver as I watch about what humans do to the animals we deem and food and then I learn that cheese is a bi-product made up of 'cheese puss.' Yuck.

The icing on the cake was my doctor telling me that I should give serious consideration to adapting a lifestyle that is without animal products.

Now, step three - Implementation. Today is day 1, of the 14 day vegan challenge. To be fair I personally am going to try and adapt to this life style just like I've done with gluten free and processed sugar free. I'm dragging my kids along for the ride with me because I want them to be healthier too. They don't need all those unnecessary chemicals in their bodies either. And my hubby ... well, he is up for the two week challenge. I hope that he notices a drastic enough difference that he will continue on the path with me.

I'm not sure how a cheese loving woman like myself is going to handle the new lifestyle. I'm not upset at all about giving up meat, I could take it or leave it. But cheese, she and I were BFFs.

But when it comes to health there isn't anything I would not do it live a LONG and happy life. I am not looking to be stuck on medications my entire life. I want to be free of the drugs and then if that means trying new ways to reset my body then so be it.

I mean, the food can't be all that bad ... Just fruits and veggies right?

I am curious if anyone of you have gone vegan and if so what was your experience with it. I really am looking forward to feeling better and having more energy. I think if you go into a new lifestyle with an open and positive outlook then you are bound to have a better success rate.

And of course, since this is a journey I will be posting 'vegan' and 'gluten free' journey updates and recipes. Last night I made an apple cobbler that was delicious. We will see how my dinner goes tonight before I post anything.

Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Enchanted Book Promotions Presents: Secret Love by Isabella White

About the Book

Guarding a secret and playing with fire has never been a good combination.
Four years ago, Holly Scallenger embarked on the most difficult journey of her life. As if being a single parent isn’t already stressful enough, Holly also attended med-school, in hopes of helping other pregnant women in a way she wasn’t helped. But things don’t look so good as she has to embark on a new journey – a journey that would take her back to Boston, back to the man who broke her heart and discarded her and her babies.
Sworn to never fall for him again, Holy is put to the test once more when a chance encounter reunites them. Secret Love is the second novel in the 4Ever series by Isabella White

About Imperfect Love

Imperfect Love is only $0.99 until the end of the month!
At 24 years old, Holly Scallanger has the perfect life. Everything a girl could want; a beautiful man, a stunning home, as well as being in the midst of preparing for the wedding of her dreams. This all vanishes the night she catches her fiancé, Brandon Morgan, in bed with her worst nightmare, Donna Sinclair, just a week before Holly is set to walk down the aisle.
Attempting to recover from his betrayal, Holly swears off the affections of men in order to pick up the pieces of her crumbling life. Unfortunately, meeting Jake ‘Hooligan’ Peters is not part of her plan. The tall, dark-haired and handsome as hell med student, sweeps Holly away from the pain of her past and reveals to her the bright future that lies ahead. That is, until she falls pregnant just as Jake begins his internship at P&E; his family’s hospital.
Will this love at first sight lead her to the fairytale she has always craved? Or, will she fall victim to a betrayal of the heart yet again?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

HEA Book Tours Presents: LOVE SICK by HJ Bellus & The Girls

We are very excited to reveal today the cover of LOVE SICK by HJ Bellus & The Girls! 
This gem is set to release July 24th and was co-written with 10 of HJ Bellus' Street Team Members! Upon its release, all proceeds will be donated to charity!

“The Waves of Love Can Make You Sick”

by USA Today Best Selling Author HJ Bellus & The Girls
A Reckless Series Spin-off

Memphis Love knows three things.

As long as it has a pond for him to dip his pole into, he’s game, and he doesn’t stick to just one pond for his fishing trips either. 

The small, beach town he lives in doesn’t offer much for job opportunities or at least lucrative ones. He relies on his body, the pole, and stage. Oh, and the after hour clients.

Iris, his best after hour customer, takes him on a yearly cruise with her friends. He’s there for one purpose and one purpose only…their boy toy.

Memphis is no fool. A two week, all paid cruise to soak up the sun and sights is a no brainer. Only thing is he didn’t expect a little ray of sunshine on the ship this year. Raylan Moore has the power to rattle everything he once believed.

The doctor is in; he’s willing, able and ready to please. Dr. Love has the cure to your Love Sick  blues, only this time maybe he’s the one needing the healing.

Photog: FuriousFotog | Model: Caylan Hughes | Designer: Jessica Hildreth

Meet the Street Team members!

HJ Bellus is a small town girl who loves the art of storytelling. When not making readers laugh or cry, she's a part-time livestock wrangler that can be found in the middle of Idaho, shot gunning a beer while listening to some Miranda Lambert on her Beats and rocking out in her boots.