Hope for a New Year

I’m spending New Year’s Day doing what I do every other day of the year, which is writing and consuming too much coffee (and mom-ing, obviously). I don’t usually do the resolutions-thing because I always assume I’ll fail, anyway, but I do have a couple of goals for 2018…

1) Publish two books this year.

With two kids and so much work outside of writing, it takes me forever to finish a book. So, up until now, I’ve only ever been able to publish one book a year, but…considering how much I’ve already finished in The Assassins of Light and The Reign of Darkness—the final book of the Creatures of Darkness series (yes, I’ve already started it)—if everything goes smoothly, I should finish both of those in 2018. (I’ve also gotten quite a bit done on my side-project The Wildness Within. So, who knows? Maybe I’ll finish three books this year. 😳 …That’s obviously the coffee talking.) I’m really close to the end of first draft of The Assassins of Light, though. So, you can expect a release date announcement very soon. 😊

2) And…most importantly…make 2018 better than 2017.

2017 was a rough year for a lot of us, I think. It was a year that showed us the worst in people. Many of us experienced some of our worst periods of depression or struggled more with mental illness than ever before, but I believe we came out of it braver and stronger. 2017 reminded us how important it is to stand up for each other and fight for each other. It was a year that made us write and create harder and deeper than ever before. There was no time for apathy, no time for complacency. We either took a stand against evil, or we stood with it. So, even though 2017 broke me at times, I have a renewed hope for 2018. Because we’re not invisible anymore. We’re here. We’re together. And we’re going to fight for each other. ❤️

Happy New Year! I hope we all have a happy and wondrously creative year! ❤️

Fighting Hatred

I realized today that I’ve, once again, fallen behind on website updates. I’m so sorry, guys. I am the epitome of a frazzled mother. 😂 I’m going to torture myself with an obscene amount of Post-It notes until I remember to keep everything updated, instead of just Facebook. (On a side note, if you haven’t friended me yet on Facebook, you should. I’m way more active on there. 😊) So, for the next few days, I’ll be playing catch-up with book teasers until the website is caught up with everything else.

This particular book teaser is a bit different from the ones I usually post. Usually, I choose quotes that hint at the main plot or quotes that just make me smile. I post them because I’m excited about the book I’m writing, and I want to share my excitement. ❤️ This one was different. I made a book teaser with this quote because, as I read the news that night, as I listened to people spew unbelievable hate, as I wept and wondered how to respond to such hatred, this part of the book came to mind.

If you’ve read The Tomb of Blood, you probably already know that in this upcoming book, The Assassins of Light, Rose and her friends are facing down an extremist organization that’s founded upon hatred. This organization, known as the Assassins of Light, want to eradicate vampires from the planet, supposedly for the safety of humans.

I live in Alabama, and I can tell you: most of the stereotypes are wrong. But…unfortunately…I have known my fair share of racists. But typically, racists don’t know they’re racist. They make these veiled remarks that they’ve convinced themselves are harmless. And…I know these people. I’m related to some of them. And I’ve always believed, deep down, that even they would condemn white supremacy, if faced with it outright. But then, they were faced with it, and they didn’t condemn it. They defended it. It was heartbreaking. The moment that really broke me, though, was when I heard someone I know defending the man who killed the protester in Charlottesville. Political differences are one thing, but defending a white supremacist and murderer? I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics. I tell myself that it’s to protect relationships, but I think part of it is also to protect myself from the aggressive verbal attacks I’d face otherwise. (People really lose their cool over politics.) But that night, as I cried, and my heart pounded, and I wondered what the right thing to do might be, I thought of Rose.

Because Rose, really, is a braver version of me. We share the same insecurities and fears. She just faces them with more courage than I do. And I thought: what would Rose do? And then, I remembered this scene from The Assassins of Light (the book I’m writing now). And I realized: Rose wouldn’t just cry over the heartbreaking state of the world. She wouldn’t just wish she could soothe the pain in the world. She’d do those things, yes, but not just those things. She would speak out. She would defend the oppressed.

And I desperately want to be that brave.

When you create a nightmare scenario for a dark fantasy novel, you never expect the real world to start mirroring it. But that’s exactly how it feels now. The quote above is something that Rose says in The Assassins of Light (Book Three of the Creatures of Darkness series), and it feels way too relevant right now.

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