Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

Watching this video of the this past year in review has me thinking of all that I've gone through and accomplished in a year.
365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months
1/81st slice (on average) of my lifetime.
Such a small amount of time has moved me such an incredible distance across the board.
I'm a healthier person thanks to 2012

December 10, 2011

December 10, 2012
I'm a braver, kinder, stronger person in the last year. I took risks, I grabbed at chances, and jumped at opportunities.
I know that I have the potential to be whatever I want to be.
I know that I have the power to make things happen - me, just one person - just me.
I have gained confidence, experience, knowledge, energy and friendships and the understanding of how important the old ones are.
But 2012 wasn't all about gaining. I lost a lot too. 2012 was a no-holds-barred kind of year and with the highs going higher than I only ever dreamed possible the lows were much lower too. I lost a lot - and some losses were good (weight for one - and a lot of it) but mostly they were bad. We lost family this year, friends, and loved ones. The year was a full out tug of war between sheer joy and tragedy. Births, pregnancies, and proposals were abundant but only amongst the loss, despair, break-ups, and the deaths we all mourned.

It's amazing how much can change in so little time - how much one person can change - how big one life, one ripple in the pond can reach. I was blessed to be here, in this community, even in the midst of all the losses we felt personally -- to be here, where we reached out and separately united and shared in an epidemic of miracles. 

I've been blessed beyond measure.
I've been transformed.
I've been published.
I've been let down.
I've been lifted up.
I've been touched.
I've been scared.
I've been cared for.
I've been shattered and heartbroken.
I've been healed and humbled.
I've crossed so many bridges, and rubbed so many elbows.
We've been shaken this year, that is certain, but we've also been recovered, helped -- saved by the selfless acts of kindness toward each other.

I'd like to make a New Years resolution for an even better year ahead. I just want to keep moving forward and trying to be the best me I can be. A better daughter, friend, wife, lover, writer, reader, human... I want to be gentler, bolder, tougher, softer, and kinder in the New Year. I want to write better, jump higher, run farther, smile brighter and open my eyes wider to see even more.
I have been so blessed to have the year I've had with 2012. So blessed. I cannot even count all the ways but I want to be more, bigger, brighter, better. I know that 2013 has the capacity to be that, more -- so much more.

Leave a comment and tell me what your resolutions are for this next year and I'll leave you with this one last thought ... (and one of the most romantic movie clips of all time by an incredibly funny writer that, sadly, we lost this year ...) 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just Her Luck (Whisper Hollow Book 2)

Just Her Luck
Available in eBook
Deceber 31, 2012

Ronnie Noel Hilt was seated on a barstool swirling a straw around in her Blue Bahama Breeze. The sugared rim crumbled along the counter of Lucky’s Bar.  It was a hole in the wall but it was her twin sister Reagan’s favorite place. That’s who she was supposed to be meeting along with her younger sister Candace.  

                Ronnie had just received two back to back cancelation text messages, from first Candace and then from Reagan.  They were bailing on her… again.

She was lonely and disappointed. She’d skipped lunch and dinner so that she could afford to drink tonight. So she immediately signaled for the bartender to bring her another drink even though the one in front of her wasn’t even close to being finished.

  The amount of alcohol she had plans of consuming would require her to work out for the vast majority of tomorrow but – so be it. Tomorrow was supposed to be reserved for brunch and mani-pedis with the girls but she figured they were going to bail on her again anyway. It had certainly been the pattern as of late.

            Ronnie had a perfectly fulfilling life. She was a very good, much sought after Financial Analyst.  She had a beautiful shabby chic home.  And besides this sudden inability to get together with her sisters, she was alright on the friend front.  

She had a very regimented and happy life. She was successful and talented - beautiful in that petite athletic way. With her long wavy blonde hair, hazel eyes, her fit, trim body, and a cool as ice veneer she didn’t hurt too badly for male companionship.  She was single because she wanted to be – not because she couldn’t hook a man.  She could hook a man alright.  She just hadn’t found any worth keeping.

But something was off. Something had been off ever since Reagan had gone and fallen in love. It had left Ronnie feeling a little aimless. She did not like things to change. She was not a fan of the unknown. She liked to be in charge. 
            Ronnie was floating and felt herself clinging to everything with white knuckles to stay grounded and centered. With the dynamic of her sisterhood and her twinhood being tested she felt more out of control than she’d felt in a very long time.

With all that weighing on her she was determined to have a good time tonight. She was going to enjoy the feel of this small town bar, and this unnaturally blue colored drink and forget that she’d been stood up by the two people she cared about the most … again.

 Just as she had set out to do just that she felt someone come up behind her.

            “What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this … alone?” 

            Ronnie turned around on her stool and wasn’t surprised to find Joe Aarons but was surprised by the sudden goose bumps that ran down her arm at his whisper. 

            Alright, she lied. Maybe she was hurting a little in the romance department. Obviously, her body was in the first rung of desperation if it was reacting to the Joe Aarons of the world.

            “Probably the same thing a guy like you is doing in a place like this … alone.” 

            He laughed at that as he eased himself on to the stool beside her. 

            It wasn’t that Joe wasn’t good looking because at six foot something with those wide as a house shoulders, long legs that seemed to move at their own easy pace, a body as hard and defined and as ridged as steel, strawberry kissed blonde hair and warm chocolate brown eyes he wasn’t difficult to look at. He was just not Ronnie’s type. 

            Ronnie didn’t waste time on guys who didn’t match up well with her Perfect Man List. Joe was basically the opposite of what she was looking for. For starters Joe’s job was just too dangerous and too uncertain. She liked stable men, the kind of men who were solid and dependable.  

             And Joe was basically her walking, talking anti-Mr. Perfect.

            “Taking the edge off?” Joe’s raised brow was aimed at her two melting brilliantly Blue Bahama Breezes.

            “Something like that.” Ronnie leaned in and licked some sugar off of her rim. When his gaze darkened and fell to her tongue, tracing the edge of the glass, a spike of awareness rippled through her. She swallowed hard and looked away pressing the cold drink to the rushing pulse at the inside of her wrist.  She was honestly not trying to seduce him but things like this happened every time they were together.

            “Better make it a tall one Bud,” Joe signaled to the bartender. 

            Ronnie took in the tightness of Joe’s shoulders, the dampened hair at his temples, and the bead of sweat trailing down the back of his neck past the collar of his shirt.  Judging by the way his police uniform was clinging to his skin, and the exhaustion in his brow she knew that he’d just gotten off his shift.

            “A hard day of writing parking tickets Officer?” Ronnie flipped her long golden hair over her shoulder and shot him a tongue-in-cheek smile.

            He sent her his signature Joe grin. “Yeah, I think I’m coming down with a case of carpal tunnel.”  He nodded his thanks at the bartender who sat his tall frosted mug of beer down in front of him.

            She stopped sipping long enough to say to him from around her straw, “That’s not from the ticket writing.”  

            Joe looked surprised enough that he was nearly ready to spit out his beer but he swallowed and then surprised her by leaning in real close and trailing a finger down the exposed skin of her arm. “Oh honey.” His deep low timbre of a voice slipped over her like warm velvet, tripping something deep in her gut. “I rarely have to do that myself.”

            She shot him an unimpressed glance.  He sat back in his seat, took a swing of beer and smirked. She rolled her eyes at him. “I doubt that’s true.”

            “Oh it is,” he assured her with a cocky wink that had her fighting her own smile. “There’s an opening in the schedule tonight though … I could pencil you in.”

            A laugh escaped Ronnie’s throat. “Joe, there is absolutely no way, not even if hell froze over and we were the last two people on earth, not even if there was a gun held to my head.” Her gaze fell to the holster at his hip. A cool tremor ran through her. “Would I ever agree to sleep with you.”
            Joe then leaned forward invading her space again. “Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough.” He waited until Ronnie had brought her gaze back to his. “There wouldn’t be any sleeping involved.”