I'm redecorating my house, and it's been an ongoing challenge! I love, love, love the 1920s, and I wanted a way to incorporate it into my house without it being too overbearing. I didn't want my living room to look like a speakeasy or anything like that. So I decided to dedicate one room of my house to the theme.
Below is the first puzzle I've finished that will be matted and framed. (I prefer using my own creations for my walls and decorations.) Another one is underway, and I'll be setting up the painters shortly. I can't wait to share the results with you!
I also have a vintage office. I shared previous photos with you back in 2014. I have since then changed some of the furniture, and since that's been four years, I decided it was time for a little sprucing up. So here is yet another puzzle I've finished! I'll still keep with the vintage theme, and I'm excited about looking for antique items that will complement the puzzles!
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
How many more times was Mrs. Sanderson going to tell us to make sure we were inside before dawn? I think all of us in the class had figured out by now that sunlight and vampires didn’t go together…at all.
My friend, Jenny, passed a folded-up piece of paper to me. I kept my hand below the desk to open it and grinned at the caricature of our instructor. A cross between an old schoolmarm and a drill sergeant, Mrs. Sanderson had been teaching fledging vampires for probably centuries. And she looked like she was a few stiff winds away from dust.
The classroom door opened, and every eye in the room focused on the intruder, a tall muscular guy with blue-black hair and chiseled jaws. My gaze paid particular attention to the relaxed jeans and the tight gray t-shirt which clung to his six-pack abs. I sat up straighter in my seat, resisting the urge to smooth my hands down my hair.
I sniffed the air but didn’t catch a scent of newness. So what was he doing here? The only vampires in this class had been turned within the past month. Whatever the reason for his presence, I welcomed it. Anything to keep me from listening to Mrs. Sanderson’s never-ending lecture.
He walked over to the instructor’s desk and handed her a note which she examined like it was the solution to the national debt before nodding in the direction of the seat right in front of me.
“You may sit there, and you should not make a habit of being late to my class.”
The new student’s lip turned up in a cross between a sneer and a smile. “Yes, Ma’am.” He didn’t sound bothered by the chastisement.
Mrs. Sanderson tapped her desk with a ruler. “Class, this is Kaden.”
We were never given last names. Once you’ve been turned, they don’t really matter. The person we used to be ceased to exist. It wasn’t like I could go back to my parents and say “Hi, I know you buried me, but here I am again.” No, we were taught to disappear. And here at the Undead University, as we’d nicknamed it, the instructors and guidance counselors, who were the only ones allowed to still have surnames, were supposed to make the transition easier.
Not that this life really was. I mean, can you imagine living forever, especially when you were only seventeen? I know I couldn’t, but that didn’t make a difference to the overeager vampire who drained all my blood about three weeks ago. Oh, he was kind enough to give me some of his own, but where did that leave me?
Stuck in a rigorous training program designed to teach new vamps the rules for the undead. You’d think with all of our strength and abilities, we wouldn’t really have restrictions, but Chancellor Farnsworth felt differently.
The president of this great establishment had been a vampire for over 1,000 years…at least that was the legend. I wasn’t so sure I believed it since I’d never actually set eyes on the guy. Someone that old had to look the part so I’d believe it when I saw it.
Anyway, I remembered my first day here so I felt kind of bad for the new kid. He didn’t look much older than my own seventeen years and had probably just discovered he wasn’t going to age not even a minute much less and hour.
I guess I wouldn’t mind living forever if it had happened a bit later in life. But here I was old enough to drive but too young to drink. Which sucked, pardon the pun.
I tapped on the seat in front of me to capture the new guy’s attention. He looked over his shoulder, and those blue, blue eyes took me aback for a second. I’d certainly never seen a pair of eyes like that and definitely not in my small hometown. I blinked several seconds, and he must have gotten bored because he started to turn back around. So I touched him, just a hand to his shoulder, but he flinched.
“Sorry.” I withdrew my hand. “I was just going to offer to show you around after class.”
He faced straight ahead again. “No, thanks.”
I liked his voice. His attitude, not so much, but I’d never been one to give up so easily. “My name’s Samantha, but most people call me Sam or Sammie.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
He didn’t sound any friendlier so I gave a shrug behind his back and subsided into silence. I had to admit the new guy intrigued me, and even though that curiosity had put me in this position, it wasn’t something I could give up. One didn’t change personalities because they joined the ranks of the undead.
“He’s hot,” Jenny whispered.
I gave her a murderous look. She hadn’t caught on that vamps had super-hearing, though how she hadn’t learned by now, I’d never know. I could hear the conversations in passing cars. Sometimes it was helpful, but most of the time, it was an irritant.
“Samantha, suppose you tell us what you would do were you to see a member of your family.” Mrs. Sanderson’s glasses slipped to the tip of her nose.
I never thought I’d see the day I’d miss studying for English Lit while listening to my father stumble in drunk from a hard day at the bar. Had it really only been twenty-one days ago that I was living what I considered a normal life for me? Safe in a cocoon of ignorance when it came to tales of the supernatural.
Now, I lived it. Stuck in a dimension I never thought existed with at least four-inch incisors that popped out when I was hungry, pale skin, and all the speed and strength of a super-hero but none of the fame and glory.
“I’d appreciate an answer today.” Her strident tone sounded like nails on a chalkboard.
“I’d make sure they didn’t see me,” I offered with a bright smile that earned me the thumbs-up from Jenny.
“And suppose you couldn’t guarantee that?” The teacher pushed, arms folded in a challenging stance.
I wasn’t quite sure what she wanted me to say. The last two people I expected to run into would be my parents. Back where I was from, all I had to do was stay away from the local bar and hotel. My dad always occupied one, and my mother kept the other in business.
“Mrs. Sanderson, the chances of my running into my parents are really slim. I know their haunts.”
The old lady’s eyes narrowed to little slits. “Are you telling me it’s an absolute impossibility?”
“No, but I’m saying I do know how to avoid them.”
“And if you can’t avoid them. Then what?”
“Why is this so important?” Kaden chose that moment to introduce himself to the class. “We all know family is off limits. They can’t know about us so if we see them, we run the other way, make them think they’ve seen a ghost. We got it.”
Mrs. Sanderson’s mouth dropped open. She wasn’t used to students speaking out of turn nor using that tone of voice with her. “Well, young man, since you’ve decided to join the lesson, suppose you tell us what you would do?”
“I already did it.” Kaden slumped low in the desk chair.
“What do you mean?”
“I killed them.”
My second 1920s historical romance is now available! Trusting the Law released a little early even though I thought I was running behind! For now, it's only available on Kindle because I want to be able to take advantage of some marketing deals only offered by Amazon. But it's only $0.99, way less than a cup of coffee or even a donut!
If you do read it, I'd appreciate a quick review, good, bad, or indifferent! Your opinion matters!
I stumbled across Veronica Blade's Shapes of Autumn series earlier this month, and I'm already on the fourth book. There is one more book in the series, and I'm going to be disappointed when it ends. Folks, these books aren't like anything I've read before. It combines werewolves, shapeshifters, and vampires in a world that opens the door to so many unique possibilities. It makes you think and root for the two main characters, Zack and Autumn, two 18-year-olds who shouldn't be in love because it's technically illegal.
To see how much I love them, check out my reviews on Goodreads:
My Wolf's Bane
Wolves at the Door
Dead Wolf Walking
The Dark Wolf (Coming Soon as I'm still reading)
You cannot go wrong picking up this series, and the first book is free on Amazon!
On Sunday, May 13th, something besides Mother's Day happens for me. I turn 50. Half a century. It's hard to imagine, yet, I look back at my life, and I do remember the decades as they sped by. I remember all too well what I learned in each one, not counting my teen years.
In my twenties, I met two ladies who would become lifelong friends, learned how to be a friend, got engaged twice, broke off my wedding two months before the date, learned how a broken heart as an adult feels, how to pick up the pieces after being betrayed, and when it's time to move on from a job and a relationship. I also began a career that would last me to this day.
In my thirties, I began to recover from my childhood, realized my dream of being published, had a life-changing moment when involved in a devastating accident, faced the beginning of a series of health issues that would continue to plague me, started a publishing company with my best friends, lost a job that meant everything to me, endured life-altering surgeries, and fell in love.
In my forties, I ventured into indie-publishing, bought my first house, traveled to Europe, lost a friend who was far too young to die, and lost a woman who was like a mother to me. I published my 50th novel and got my heart broken yet again. I realized who my true friends were, endured more surgeries that took their toll, traveled many times, bought a cat that I can't imagine my life without, started writing for an television/movie entertainment site, taught classes, and made some decisions that will affect the rest of my life.
Now, as I'm starting my fifties, I'm gearing up to pay off my mortgage, publish even more books, volunteer more, travel more, and love more. Hopefully, I'll look back in ten years and see that I've grabbed life by the reins and have held on for dear life. I'll continue to practice what matters most of all—kindness. I'll love more, share more, and be more.
I'm looking forward to starting another decade! Thanks for coming along for the last one!
I'm working my way through another blogging challenge, and I came across this one—a life lesson I've learned. Since I'm almost fifty, I've learned a lot of them, but there is one in particular that has stuck with me. Just three simple words. Everything's Not Personal.
It can be so easy to take things personally. Someone looks at you, and you think they're thinking something negative about you. The cashier snaps at you, and you take it as a personal affront. Your favorite television show changes in a way you don't like, and you think the writers don't care for their fans, one of which is you. Or you're not invited to a party, and you think it's because the hosts don't like you.
Someone once told me that everyone isn't thinking about me half as much as I think they are. That stuck with me and goes right along with "everything's not personal," or "everything isn't personal" if you prefer.
So as I move through life, I try to remember those words. Sometimes, people are having a bad day, and it has nothing to do with me. If I'm not invited to a party, I don't think twice about it because, it's possible, the hosts are doing me a favor because they know it's not my cup of tea. Overall, this is one life lesson that has really made an impression on me and has helped me look at life differently!
It seems like every day on social media there is a person (or people) sharing a story about how someone criticized them for something they chose to do that didn't hurt anyone. It could be something as simple as binge-watching Downton Abbey instead of cleaning the house. Yep. I've done it. But that's just it. Why should we feel guilty about it? I don't feel guilty about the TV programs I watch, the movies I enjoy, or the music I listen to because they're my choices. So I'm going to share some of my not-so-guilty pleasures with you today, and I encourage you to let go of the feelings of guilt and just be you!
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit DC for the first time in my life, and I'm so glad I went! As much as you hear about the monuments and memorials and see them on the Internet, seeing them in person is so much more inspiring. On top of that, the cherry blossoms were in bloom so it was a beautiful time to go. Add in the unique statues and architecture, and it was a trip I will never forget! Next up: Las Vegas in June!
If you don't believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, that is your choice, but it should never be okay to make light of what millions of people believe around the world. Meet the Press' Chuck Todd decided to share a tweet that set off a firestorm and rightfully so. Thousands of others responded in a similar manner as I did.
Good Friday is a holy day for Christians as is Easter. There is no "religious aspect" to the day. The day itself is about Christianity. The day itself is about Jesus. It's not about how good any of us can be. I believe in kindness and paying it forward, but I don't believe in taking something that is so personal to millions of people and trivializing it.
I mentioned earlier this month that a song has given me the inspiration to write romance again, and I've returned to a book I'd put aside for a while. There's something about connecting two souls, two hearts.
I admit that I watch a lot of romance movies, and I have my favorite couples on television. The writers know how to connect two people so that you can't look away. I hope to be able to do that one day. Until then, you can't go wrong reading books by Karen Marie Moning, Lisa Renee Jones, and Mila Gray. They write stories that melt the heart and make you want to keep turning the pages.
Until my next book, I wish you happy reading!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!