Sale!

It’s Black Friday! And you know what that means, right?

A sale!

I’m running a kindle daily deal on Seventeen Days. From now until midnight on Cyber Monday, you can one-click your copy for 99¢.

Follow the link below to grab yours today.

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Click here to buy from Amazon.com

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Dawn L. Chiletz – Indie Author Spotlight & Giveaway

Welcome to my 2nd Indie Author Spotlight.

This week I’m featuring my friend, Dawn L. Chiletz. Her newest release The Fabulist, is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Enjoy.

1. Who/What inspires you to write?

That’s a tough one. Sometimes I’m inspired from my dreams – literal dreams, when I’m sleeping. “The Contest” came from a dream. Sometimes I’ll have a random thought in the shower that turns into a story and sometimes it’s something I hear in passing. I thought of Can’t You See while discussing insurance adjusters with a friend. I’m pretty random. But my boys are my biggest inspiration. I want to show them that no matter how old you are it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

2.The Fabulist is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s literally reality television in a book, only better. For someone like me, (a reality television addict) this idea should have been something that was in the forefront of my mind but it wasn’t… what made you think of it?

I was actually trying to help a fellow author come up with a title for her book that had something to do with liars. When I’m brainstorming, I usually end up at an online thesaurus to search words. Every once in a while, I’ll draw a creative thought from a synonym or antonym. In this case, the word Fabulist came up as a synonym for liar. I’d never seen the word before so I searched the meaning of it. I loved the idea of a book called “The Fabulist” because it sounded so original. She didn’t like it and went a different direction and I couldn’t get the word out of my head. That’s what got me started. I wrote Can’t You See while I was still toying with the idea. The reality TV probably came to mind from the definition – a storyteller. I was trying to think of something people could relate to and that’s where the reality TV came from. It’s everywhere these days. The idea of trying to put reality TV into book form excited me. I write best when I’m excited. That’s usually why I write my books so fast – before the inspiration is gone.

3.In The Fabulist we follow Sam along on her journey to potentially win a reality television competition to work for The Fabulist. She has no idea who that is, or what the job entails, only that a fabulist is in essence a liar. How did you come up with what the competition would be for?

I wanted to do a different spin on lying. I loved the storyteller aspect of it. I thought of all the reality TV I’d seen and I knew right away I didn’t want it to be about looking for love. Sam’s character traits were clear to me before I started writing and I knew who she was. I could see her. I could hear her in my head. She was strong willed and fearless. There was no way she’d ever apply for a show to find a man. She didn’t need a man to make her whole. A job was the only way she might try out so I decided to make her jobless. The story fell into place from there. The challenges were another story altogether. I rarely plan in advance for a book. I mostly just let the story flow. When it came time for the first challenge, I realized it would be more difficult than I thought to come up with multiple increasingly difficult challenges for lying. I spent a lot of time doing research and staring blankly at my screen. LOL

4.So, um… heard any good lies lately?

Is there such a thing as a good lie? The book was dedicated to people who lie for the right reasons. I suppose everyone lies for one reason or another. Not all lies are meant to do harm. I think it’s why people can relate. Everyone has lied about something. Have I heard a good lie? Let’s just say I have teenage boys. I hear, “Yes, my homework is done,” daily. Rarely do I believe it. They need to work on their delivery. I’ll never share my notes!

5.For me music plays a big role in my life (and my books). Do you have a favorite band/artist that you listen to while writing? Or do you require complete silence?

Music plays a huge role in my writing, but not how you might think. I draw inspiration from the way certain music makes me feel. But to answer your question, I actually write in complete silence, unless there is music playing in my scene. If there’s music in the story then I’ll listen to a song over and over to make sure I get the mood and flow correct. When I write, it’s like I’m watching a movie in my head. If my characters are listening to music then so am I. If they aren’t then I’m not either. I don’t have a particular band I listen to. For me it’s about emotion. I listen to a little bit of everything.

6.What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Best compliment?

I think some of the toughest criticism has come in the form of reviews. At first, it was hard to see anything positive in them, but I’ve learned to take them as opportunities to improve myself. There have been so many best compliments I don’t know how to narrow it down to just one. I can say that one of the best was hearing that my story helped someone and made a difference in their life. To me that is the greatest gift you can get as an author.

7. Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m my favorite book character, (don’t judge). If you could be any character for one day, who would you be? Why?

Me, judge? Never! Who hasn’t wanted to be a character from a book? I think it’s one of the reasons I write. It’s therapy. I can live a thousand lives. Hmm… Who would I want to be? Bella from Twilight because – Edward! I also wouldn’t mind being Lake from Slammed, Ana from Fifty Shades, Ellie from Defining Moments, or even Everly from Enough. Why? Because they were all so strong. I love strong female characters that overcome obstacles and odds. They’re who I want to be when I grow up. If I grow up!

Buy The Fabulist

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Buy Can’t You See

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Buy Enough

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Buy Waiting to Lose

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Buy The Contest

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Click here to follow Dawn on Facebook.

Click here to follow Dawn on Twitter.

Stay up to date on all her latest news, check out her website. Click here to check it out.

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For a chance to win the books above, follow this link. —> GIVEAWAY!

 

What attracts you to someone?

As I lie here wide awake, I find myself thinking about past romantic relationships. I know, I know, WHY? Well, I don’t know why. My brain is weird like that. But it also made me ask myself what initially attracted me to that person. And of course, I got to thinking the same thing about all of my friends too.

What attracted me to them?

Why are they my friends?

What makes them special or unique?

It turns out the answer isn’t as cut and dry as I thought it was. But why should it be? I’ve never been someone who sees the world in strictly black and white, but in every shade of grey in between and every vibrant color that you could possible think of.

Up until a couple of years ago, when it came to what I looked for in a man’s appearance, I would’ve said, dark hair and light eyes. Or dark hair and dark eyes. Or I even remember saying as long as he’s not a ginger, we’re good. And boy, has that changed now. (Tom Hiddleston, Sam Hueghan, or Michael Fassbender, anyone?)

But, all of that was an outright lie.  At least when it comes to my Pinterest board of men that I think are attractive. That and well, I have a major thing for guys with long hair. HELLO, Brock O’Hurn, I’m talking about you, you beautiful majestic lion, you.

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And since Cass (the ex) had long hair, and I’m in lust with Brock. (Don’t worry, there’s countless others to join #TeamLongHair #TeamManBun) I’ve found that I now have to claim long hair as a total turn-on for me. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t date a guy with shorter hair but… I. Am. In. Love. With. Long. Locks. On. Dudes. There, I said it. I feel much better. 😀

Don’t get me started on tattoos. Wowza. Do I find tattoos on a person attractive. It’s like an instant connection to them, for me. It’s a ice-breaker and one that I love having. If I see someone out and I like their ink, I’m not afraid to tell them so. Male or female. Did I mention that my hero in Finding Tenley (current WIP) is modeled after Alex Minsky? Yup. Case is my version of a fictionalized Minsky. Besides being a war vet, he’s a pretty awesome dude, I respect him so much. And not only because he’s my muse for Case.

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Call me shallow, if you must. But, I will admit to finding a lot of people attractive… on the outside. But, that’s just surface stuff. Like any normal human, we like to present ourselves as well put-together on the outside. On the inside though? That’s where it truly matters. How we treat someone, says a lot about the person that we truly are. But, I’ll get back to that in a few minutes. I’m still touching the surface issues. 😉

Next up on my list… eyes. It’s true what they say, “eyes are the windows to the soul”. I’m a total sucker for a persons eyes. I’ve always been fascinated with them. As far back as I can remember, it’s always been what has attracted me to a person first. It’s like I could see their kindness shining through. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that my theory is true. When I meet someone, if they keep eye contact with me during a conversation, I’m drawn to them so much more. And I’ve found in my writing, I make a point to write about my characters eyes, and having them keep eye contact, etc. I’m a sucker for a pair of baby blues. And I’m not afraid to tell a complete stranger walking down the street, that they have beautiful eyes. Because who knows, maybe they needed a smile, and if my telling them something nice made that happen, I feel good about doing so.

Which brings me to the next thing on my list, someones smile. Man, a good smile can truly brighten my day. Plain and simple.

And the last thing on my outside list… muscles. Oh sweet baby Jesus in a wicker basket. I’m not into the guys that are over-muscly, but I’m a sucker for a nice set of guns. And my reason is purely this, I love a good teddy bear hug. Holy wow. There’s this musician, Jerrod Niemann. Best. Hug. Giver. EVER.  When I met him, he gave me not 1, not 2, but 8 hugs. It was like he couldn’t stop hugging me. And I was 100% a-okay with that. Because the set of guns on this guy, I’m telling you. Pictures don’t do him justice, but I’ll share one anyway. I find myself till this day, comparing every hug I get to Jerrod’s hugs.

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Okay, now let’s talk about what really matters, what’s inside. Because yes, we can all be shallow and say, “hey I like this person because they have the best body, blah, blah, blah.” Whatever. It’s not about that. Not really.

It’s what is inside that makes someone truly beautiful.

Looks fade but true beauty doesn’t.

Kindness.

Selflessness.

A giving heart.

Honesty.

Loyalty.

Making someone laugh.

Being someones strength.

A good listener.

Open-mindedness.

Being vulnerable.

Forgiveness.

All of those things make up the people that surround me. Whether they know it or not, at some point in my life, I’ve needed them and they’ve shown these things to me. As I’ve grown older, I’ve weeded out the bad seeds, and tossed them away. And if they’ve grown into someone that has these qualities, they’ve come back.

Kindness. It’s SO easy to be kind. All it takes is a simple smile. Or the words, thank-you. Holding open a door for the person walking behind you. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. Sometimes the simplest smallest thing, is the most kind.

Selflessness. I know in this day and age, everyone is out for themselves and what they can gain. But it shouldn’t be about that. It should be about what kind of example you want to make on our younger generation. I know that I don’t want my nephews and niece to see me as someone who was always out for what I could get for doing something. I want them to see what I did for others.

A giving heart. That explains itself. Or it should. I know that every month when my Bookworm Box subscription renews, I feel good about myself. Knowing that the money will go to a good cause.

Honesty/Loyalty. Those qualities go hand in hand. And again, are self explanatory.

Making someone laugh. I’m a sucker for someone who makes me laugh. And I instantly like that person 10x more than someone who doesn’t. I’m sorry but it’s true. Laughter truly is the best medicine. As I’ve stated in my previous post, I have this group of friends that make me laugh on a daily basis. On the days when my pain level is excruciating, these assholes can make me laugh and for those few minutes, I forget about my stupid back issues. I swear, it’s like magic.

Being someones strength. I can’t begin to explain what this one means to me. Over the last (almost) decade, I’ve needed friends/family to be my strength more than I ever have before. Through surgeries, home-nursing, recovery and now pain shots, I don’t know what I’d do without having someone to lean on. Because admitting that I need help, is something that I hate to do, but I’ve needed others strength more than ever. And for that, my stubborn ass is extremely thankful to have these people in my life.

A good listener. Admit it. That turns you on. I know it does me. (Hello! It’s on my list.) I’m not just talking about someone who will listen to you with one ear while looking at their phone, not giving you their full attention. I’m talking about someone who focuses only on you. Who listens to you vent, or cry, or tell that funny story to.

Open-mindedness. Yup. This is a biggie. If it’s one thing I hate, it’s a bigot. I understand someones religious beliefs, and I’m okay with that. But for me it’s simple. Love is love is love is love. I’ll scream that from the mountain tops. All love is beautiful.

Being vulnerable. Yup. It makes you human. Shit, I’ve clearly admitted things in this post that make me vulnerable. It makes me like a person that much more if they do the same.

Forgiveness. This one is simple but also hard. Coming from someone who has been wronged, it’s hard. But forgiving doesn’t always mean you have to forget. There’s always a reason that things happen the way that they do. Listen. Forgive. More forward.

With age comes knowledge. And with knowledge comes beauty.

Being beautiful means realizing this moment is a new opportunity to be who you want to be, and making the effort to seize it. And that my friends, is how I’ve chosen to live the rest of my life. With an open mind and heart.

It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover (spoilers)

You know that moment when you open the book you’re about to start reading, and you read the first sentence, and you just know that this book is going to ruin you? This book is going to change your life? 

That’s what happened to me when I cracked open my kindle and closed my eyes with my finger hanging slightly above a personal doc. (One that I wasn’t sure I had the strength to read.) Well my damn finger took on a life of its own and before I knew it, the sneaky little fucker clicked on the book and well… I was now going to begin reading “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. It had been sitting there for months. I had an ARC copy but something was telling me before I ever read the beautiful words contained inside, that Colleen was going to weave together a story so painful, so truthful, so me, that I needed to be in the right frame of mind to even read a single word.

Whelp. Day 1 consisted of my reading the dedication, crying and shutting my kindle down. This wuss was going to need wine and more Kleenex to read this bitch. It was dedicated to her father and I knew that the words to follow were going to mirror my life in a way that no other Hoover book has before. (Which is saying a lot!)

Days 2/3 it sat staring at me from instead my kindle every time I turned it on. The dedication still there. That page left unturned. I couldn’t do it. Towards the end of Day 3, I looked down at my Do Epic tattoo and finally turned the page. I mean, how bad could it really be, right?

That night I read until I was ready to pass out. I loved Lily and I was determined to know everything about her. I wanted her to reconnect with Atlas but where was he? What happened to him? I also wanted to know more about Ryle the sexy neurosurgeon. But, that was all before the kitchen incident. I was to the point where I was passing out from sleep but as soon as that scene happened I was wide awake. Here’s why. My family is okay now. But it hasn’t always been. My father was an alcoholic and an abusive one at that. Most of the time it was my Mama who got the blame but sometimes it was me and my siblings. What Ryle did to Lily in that scene over her laughing at him, (a nervous laugh at that! I nervous laugh all the time.) brought back so many bad memories for me. I’ve always been the type of person to focus on the good. I’d rather think that the world is made of rainbows and unicorns because I’ve seen how bad things can be. I’ve lived with a person who became a MONSTER while drinking. To say this scene made me cry, is an understatement. This scene tore me apart. I had to take a chapter break. It was a good thing that I had been tired before I read it, because I was going to now take a sleeping pill to turn off the memories and try to pick-up IEWU again in the morning.

Day 4, I was determined to finish this book. Because I knew that he kitchen scene was only the first and there’d be worse things to come. I now knew that she needed to give up on Ryle and focus on Atlas. Yes, it has been years but he’s never hurt her. Atlas is a protector, and as a reader I could see how much he always wanted to take care of Lily. This beautiful broken boy who had nothing but still brought her gifts, even if he had to make them. The boy who for an hour everyday smiled while watching Ellen. He was who Lily needed to find.

As I kept reading the more I found myself crying. I couldn’t read a few pages without crying so hard, I couldn’t see through my tears. Memories that I thought had been buried came out of the woodwork. Times of being hit for no apparent reason other than I was talking too loud. My sister got it worse than I did. But like I’ve already said, Mama was the main target. I don’t know why I’m writing this or why I’ll post it but it feels cathartic in a way. Moving on.

When the whole blow-up happens after the journals, newspaper article and magnet. I feared for Lily’s life. If she didn’t get away from Ryle, I knew he was going to hurt her in a way that he’d never be able to take back.

When she ran to Atlas, all I could think was… Finally! 

But I understood why she didn’t want to start anything with him while still dealing with this whole mess with Ryle. It wasn’t just herself that she had to think about anymore. It was her and her baby. She needed to make the decisions that were best for her. Did I agree with all of them? I’ll say yes. Because I believe that Ryle will never harm their baby. As long as he’s getting the help he deserves, I believe that he’ll be a good father. But I don’t believe that he would’ve changed enough for Lily. So in the end, I wanted Lily to run back to see Atlas. I’m okay that it just ended. For me, it was a happy ending. Lily ended up with Lily. The strongest heroine I’ve met in a while.

Thank you Colleen for writing this brave, soul baring, heartbreaking, beautiful story.

Children of abuse, (like me) woman of abuse, (like Mama) men of abuse and every single person out there needs to read this and understand its message. Violence is not the answer. I’m lucky enough to say that my dad has given up drinking, he’s been sober for nearly 20 years now. So a person can change. If they work on it and feel like it’s worth the sacrifice. I’m grateful that mine did. Others aren’t so lucky.

I’d give this book a hundred stars if I could.

Wanna know more about it? Click here It Ends With Us