Adventures on the road with D.B. 

I’m a traveler.

Or at least I like to think of myself as such. Counting this year, I’ve been a “snowbird” for 3 years. We started our grand journey cross country late this fall, and instead of leaving in October we’ve only left this last week.

Yesterday was… interesting.

After we left Michigan, we stayed in Indiana for a few days, while a couple of things were looked over on the 5th wheel. Once all was well, (or as good as it will be until the spring) we left for the open road and the city lights of Nashville.

If you know anything about me, you should know that I love Nashville. It’s hard to explain but it’s like as soon as I step out of the vehicle, the city calls to me, telling me that I’m home. Okay, cheesy moment over. Let’s get to the good stuff. The creepy stuff. Yep. Creepy stuff.

Our drive through Indiana was for the most part uneventful. We waved while driving by the Vera Wang warehouse, cried while passing by the Ulta warehouse, and even shed a few tears when we passed the Nestle bunny.

It all started once we crossed the Kentucky state line. Literally.

Louisville is normally a nice drive for us, we love looking at all the cool architecture while checking out the skyline. We like passing the airport, ballpark, cute little shops, etc. Yesterday was no different in that aspect. It was still fun. But, we were greeted with a big traffic delay on the bridge leading into the city. All was well, Mama & myself were watching the people in neighboring vehicles, (I’m talking to you truck full of hot Army dudes!) all while keeping an eye on Pops behind us in the truck pulling the 5th wheel. Traffic eventully shifted into one lane, but that was okay. It wasn’t that long of a delay, besides we could use the little break it gave us. Once we came upon the source of said delay, the tables turned. It was what appeared to be a one truck accident. Mama and I were checking out the damage and not paying attention to the traffic MOVING ahead of us. We were stopped dead. Causing the traffic behind us to stay stopped as well. While we gawked at the damage of the accident causing the delay in the first place. What broke us out of our trance was a big, and I mean big, police officer screaming at us to move.

We should’ve known then our adventure was taking a turn.

After passing through Louisville fairly quickly, we lost Pops. Yes people, we completely 100% lost my dad. He went one way when the highway split (the wrong way, I might add) while I went the other. So, I pulled off to the side of the highway right after the split while Mama called him. We nearly died. Do not ever stop on the side of the highway. At least not where it splits. At least move a little further ahead. Every single time a semi passed in those few seconds, I thought my little car was going to be ripped in half. Before the phone call to Pops was finished, I was pulling back into traffic. Screw it, he could meet up with us later. So that’s what we did. We drove about 15 miles and met him further on. We also made him turn on his directions so that he wasn’t lost if he was seperated from us again. Disaster averted. For now.

About an hour later, we’re singing along to the radio, when I glance up into my rearview window. What I saw scared me. Correction. What I saw creeped me the fuck out. Why? Because it was the same semi that had been behind me for awhile now. (Pops was behind him.) Normally this wouldn’t scare me. Not at all. I’m cool with semitrucks. I dig ’em. Just not this one.

Nope. Nope. Nope. 

Do you remember the movie Joyride w/Paul Walker? It’s about two brothers on a roadtrip who mess around with a trucker on the cb radio. Let’s just say that what happens isn’t pretty.

And this semi behind me?

It’s similar to the semi from Joyride. Not the same colors but it scares me just the same. Why? Because every time I glance up, it’s gaining speed and nearly eating my car. Think I’m lying? Uh eh, am not.

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During my mini freakout, I grabbed my phone and took a video of the truck in my rearview. (I know, I know, it was dangerous. Sorry, but I needed proof!) So what do I do next? Slow down of course. Because I wanted this truck to pass me. I wanted him gone. Buh-bye, see ya later, that’s all folks! Instead of mearly passing me he gains speed, and almost eats my car, again.

What should I do now? Speed up? Change lanes? Slow down and pull over?

SOMEBODY TELL ME!

Before I can voice my struggles out loud, he makes the choice for me. He finally passes me. Whew. Bye dude. It was nice knowing ya. Kinda. Maybe. Okay, I’m lying, it wasn’t nice knowing you!

Phew, I can breathe again.

By now though, Pops needs to stop for gas. So we pull over in Elizabethtown. Our stop takes us around twenty minutes and we’re back on the road. It won’t be long now before we see the Nashville skyline. Crossing over the Tennesee state line, Mama needs to use the restroom so we stop at the welome center. I’m putting the car into park, while glancing up into the rearview mirror again, to see where Pops parked.

Holy. Shit. The. Semi. Pulled. In. And. Parked. Right. Next. To. Pops. 

I’m yelling to Mama about the truck. Freaking-the-fuck-out. While at the same time trying to hide behind my steering wheel.

How did he end up behind us again? What are the odds that he’d park next to Pops? Is he following us? OMG is it like Joyride for real, only ya know, without the cb radio?

Mama is laughing at me, while she gets out of the car. She’s not waiting for me to attempt to make myself smaller and disappear. She has to use the restroom. So do I, but you know, I want to live. But I mean, it’s only a movie right? So I get out of the car and hurry as fast as I can, inside the building. When we make it back outside, Pops is waiting for us with Teagan (our dog). Mama pulls him to the side and points out the truck and tells him the story. The both laugh at me.

I mean, I guess it’s funny.

And maybe I watch too many movies.

Whatever.

Pirates. ARGH!

Let’s take a moment to talk about pirates.

Sadly, I’m not talking about Captain Jack Sparrow. Although we can take a teeny tiny second to appreciate all the goodness below.

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Okay, eye-candy session over. Back to business. Pirates suck. Unfortunately once you hit publish (sometimes even before) someone is bound to upload your book baby to an illegal pirating site. I’d love to say this hasn’t happened to me but it has. Seventeen Days was uploaded a day before it was live. That means that someone who was trusted with an ARC copy by either myself or the promotions company I hired, posted it before anyone was able to buy it. Did this hurt my sales? Yes. Sadly, I’ll never know exactly how much.

Why am I bringing this to light 10 weeks after the fact? Because I just spent the last couple of hours blasting a site that has my book, (my precious book!) posted on their website page by page for anyone to read. For free. When I offer my book for free if you subscribe to kindle unlimited. When I also am more than likely to offer you a copy to read via Instafreebie out of the goodness of my heart.

Pirates suck.

They make me feel like shit. Like no matter what I do, I’ll never win against them.

ARGH!

So today instead of spending the day reading & resting after getting eight pain injections in my back, I’ll spend it using Blasty looking for pirated copies of my book. Sigh.

Two months…

It seems like only yesterday that Seventeen Days was released into the wild. AKA kindles everywhere. But in reality it’s been two months. 

Two months, in which I’ve asked countless times if I’m dreaming.

Two months, since I’ve been able to officially call myself an indie author.

Two months, for readers to fall in love with Harrison & Morgan.

Two months, since the day I sat numbly in shock while Colleen frickin’ Hoover shared my book on her Facebook page.

Two months, and a handful (26th posted yesterday!) of reviews on Amazon.

Two months, since my life changed for the better.

Two months, y’all.

Two months. 

It all started with a knife…

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. You’re eyes haven’t deceived you.

A couple of nights ago, I was awake all night long. My back issues kept me up and I was unable to sleep. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get comfortable. My sleeping medicine, kicked in but wasn’t working because I couldn’t stay in the same spot long enough to actually fall asleep. Ugh, it’s the worst. Anyway…

I have this list of names to someday use for characters. Along with a head full of ideas. During one of my comfy 10 minute spots, I was glancing through the list of names when  a knife entered my thoughts. (Oh the thoughts we authors have!) All I saw in my head was a huge knife dripping with blood. Suddenly one of the names clicked, Rhys. As soon as the name entered my brain I knew this story had to be told. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to be comfy writing on the laptop, I opened up a new note in my trusty notes app again and started plotting out the scene unfolding in my head.

200 words.

That’s what I had written about that knife and a man named Rhys. It was barely nothing more than a few bare bones sentences but his story has now turned into a fully blown mystery in my brain. Which makes me a little sad. Why? Because I have been writing Tenley’s story for awhile. Her story is almost halfway done. She’s not talking right now though. Rhys is. That knife is begging me to tell whose blood is dripping from it. Rhys wants me to let you know if he’s a killer.

In the words of the wise Dean Winchester… “SON OF A BITCH!”

I didn’t plan this story.

At least not yet.

Oh well sometimes the best things in life are the things that are unplanned.

Let’s Get Drunk and Make Friends

Today I made a colossal mistake.

One for the record-books people. Someone call Guinness because this bitch, messed-the-fuck-up.

You may be asking yourself what I did that was so major. I’m about to tell you. When publishing with Amazon they give you a choice of royalty percentages. They base it off from the your pricing point, as to which one to choose.

But… they don’t make it very clear.

If your book is $2.99 or below you should choose the 35% royalties. $2.99 and above the 70% royalties. Dumbly, I clicked the wrong one. Because it’s not all that clear. If you price your book at $2.99 which should you choose? Because the 70% should be the right option for all of your hard work, hours put into self edits, money thrown into paying your editor, buying cover art, cover designer, promos, etc. But on the other hand they also list $2.99 as the pricing point for the 35%. Which one did I choose?

The lowest. 

I. Am. An. Idiot.

I’ve changed it now but how does that help for the first 6 weeks worth of royalties? It doesn’t help me at all. It makes Amazon richer.

So, tonight I want to get drunk. And watch Supernatural. Oh and eat pizza.

Me Before You 

Have you ever had a book that you’ve owned since it’s release but have never cracked open the cover? A book that you’ve always had every intention of reading but, life happened? Well, that’s happening to me right now.

Me Before You is a beautifully heartbreaking story. And I’m intimidated by it. Maybe that’s not entirely true. I’m not so much intimidated by it as I am scared to open the pages of my hardcover or bring the eBook up on my kindle. I’ve let my fear of this book rule me for years now. Not months. Not days. Years.

Before I get too far ahead of myself let me state why it scares the bejeezus out of me.

I had a friend spoil the storyline. 

She didn’t mean to spoil it, the words just flung from her laptop keys and she hit send. She had no idea that I’d yet to open my copy.

So for the last couple of years, I’ve rebelled against reading what awaits me behind that beautiful red cover.

Until the movie.

And the soundtrack.

One day I was home alone nursing a migraine and bored. So I thought what the heck, and put the DVD in.  Biggest. Mistake. Ever. Trust me friends, you don’t want to watch a movie that makes you cry, while you’re trying to rid yourself of a migraine. I cried so hard that I gave myself the hiccups AND a worse migraine. But honestly, I didn’t regret it. Not for one single second. Why? Because the movie is  fucking beautiful.

Over the last few weeks, I find myself wanting to watch the movie again. It’s happened. I’ve cried another river each time. I’ve used many Kleenex loving this story and becoming immersed in the actors playing Lou & Will.

Last week while I was working on Finding Tenley, I couldn’t stop listening to this soundtrack. This is one of the those soundtracks. One of the ones that make the movie. The music is perfect. And I adore every single song on the soundtrack.

Tonight after I finished beta reading for a friend, I had to fight the urge to put in the DVD again. I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t get any sleep because I’d have to watch the whole thing. Instead I grabbed my kindle, hit the search and finally opened the book. Eek! I opened the book. And I’ve went one step further, I’m actually reading it.

I know after two chapters that this is going to be one of those books.

The books that stay with you for life.