MY HAPPY PLACE

Holy smokes! I can’t believe it’s almost 2016.

I’d love to say I had a spectacular year, but that would be a lie.

Aside from meeting Joanna Wylde in person and confirming first hand that she is absolutely one of the coolest people ever, 2015 was not my best year. I’m eager to put the past 12 months behind me. Why? If I could put 2015 into one word, that word would be STRUGGLE.

My forty-fifth year on this earth has been an uphill climb. Not climbing so much as clawing desperately at loose dirt to keep from falling into a deep abyss, both personally and professionally.

My attempt at establishing a profitable career in the publishing industry failed miserably. One epic failure after another. I did, however, learn some lessons along the way.

Shall I share? I’ll share. Besides, I need to write them down because I’ll probably forget them by February. After all, I am coming up on my forty-sixth year on this earth. Reminders are good.

 

#1 

Don’t get a big head.

When I signed my first contract, I foolishly thought, Hallelujah! I made it. I finally get to do what I love for a living. I’m a published author, motherf*ckers. All you doubters can suck it. It only took until my first royalty check to burst that bubble. I might catch grief for saying so, but being a published author doesn’t mean shit. If your previously published books aren’t selling, good luck getting a publisher (even one you already have a relationship with) to blink twice at you.

#2

Don’t quit your day job.

You need money to sell books. Yes. You need money to sell books. And if you are not making money off your previously published works, or in my case, deep in the red from pimping previously published works, you are screwed. Because now, not only will publishers not blink twice at you, you have to come up with the funds to self publish and market. Good editors, cover artists, etc., don’t come cheap. And even if you’re lucky enough to sign with a publisher, if you aren’t in a position financially to pimp the ever loving hell out of your books, or you haven’t made the right friends in the industry, good luck getting anyone in this saturated market to buy them, let alone read them.

#3

Don’t read reviews.

Yes, it’s true, good reviews pump you up, make you feel like you’re walking on clouds. You can read ten or twenty great reviews in a row, but read just one bad, and you’re destroyed. For days. Remember lesson number one? Yeah. When that big head gets popped, it’s devastating not only to your ego, but your creative soul. You have to know that not every creature on the earth is going to like your work. You don’t, however, have to open yourself to that negativity. This gig is hard enough. People’s opinions are their own. Remember that.

#4

Give yourself a break.

Not every writer can squeeze out ten books a year, or ten thousand words a day. Do what works for you. Not every writer is going to make bestseller lists. Stop comparing yourself to other authors, because if you do, you’re playing a game of catch up that nobody can win.

#5

Never, ever forget why you started writing in the first place.

It’s so easy to drown in the chaos of social media and marketing, to question why one author is popular and another isn’t. How often do we let deadline pressures, or word count goals suffocate our joy? If you don’t love the hell out of what you do, if you don’t get lost in your stories, lose time while you’re writing, live and breathe your characters, then what’s the point?

I started writing because I loved telling stories. Back then, I never considered I’d be published someday. And I was happy writing. And you know what? I needed the rejections, the disappointments, trials, and distractions of this past year. I needed to crash and burn to remind me why I started writing in the first place–IT’S MY HAPPY PLACE. My escape. I lost sight of that in my pursuit of success.

So if I never sell another book, I’m okay with that. I’ll continue to tell stories. It’s who I am.

If I sell a million books, I’m okay with that too. I’ll continue to tell stories. I’ll just use a better computer.

Either way, I’m letting go of all the negatives, and never losing sight of my happy place again. I’m too old for that shit.happy new year

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I’ve never liked Father’s Day. In fact, I’m usually sick to my stomach for most of the day. I hate reading the social media posts and looking at the pictures of happy kids and laughing dads.

I didn’t have a father. The man who fathered me walked out on my very young mother, leaving her with three babies, no job, and no self esteem.

He deserted his wife and children. The coward lived only a town away, but couldn’t find the time to visit. He died when I was twenty-four. I cried, but I new nothing about the man I mourned.

Step-father number one was a raging alcoholic. At least he was a fun drunk.

Step-dad number two was a bi-polar, chain smoking, verbal and emotional bully who repeatedly told me, “The only thing men will ever want you for are your tits and ass.” I grew up believing that my body was all I had to offer in a relationship.

I moved away as soon as I was able. He died. I didn’t cry. He didn’t matter.

I’m writing these words because I overheard a man in the store complaining that Americans spend more money on Mother’s Day than we do on Father’s Day. I don’t remember the exact percentage he quoted, but I almost started to cry in the cheese aisle and I wanted to grab the man’s collar and say, “No shit! We spend more money on Mother’s Day because men suck and dads leave!”

Then my husband came around the corner and made me forget for a while that I was angry and sad.

My husband, the father of my three amazing children, has been very patient with me and my quiet discontent for men. I’m quiet. I don’t like to fight, and I suck at casual conversation. When we have a tiff, I almost always use sex as a band-aid, because there is still a part of me that believes that’s all I have to offer him. My words, my feelings, my thoughts don’t matter.

How many little girls grew up like I did? How many cried themselves to sleep at night wondering why their Daddy didn’t love them? Wondering why he wasn’t around to give them hugs or tuck them in at night? Tell them they were pretty, or smart. Read them bedtime stories. How many grew up feeling inadequate, or unworthy of a man’s love?

How many little boys grow up with no positive example of what a father looks like? Feels like? How many are going to follow in their absent father’s footsteps?

My husband isn’t perfect. It took years for me to realize that my idea of what a father should be, based on what I’d learned from television and movies, was completely unfair to him. I had no real life positive example to go by, and I held him to an impossible standard as a husband, but mostly as a father.

My husband is tough, and grouchy, and impatient. He’s short tempered and foul mouthed. He works hard. Fourteen, sometimes sixteen hour days. He is rough and gruff with the kids. Makes them work hard. He’s overly protective, especially with the girls. He’s not affectionate enough for my taste. But you know what? He’s here. Every day. He’s here.

I know there are days he wishes he was out having fun, vacationing, hanging with his buddies, spending his hard earned money on cars and toys. I know there are days he wishes he hadn’t married me. There are times that he’s wanted to leave. I’ve wanted to leave. But he stays. Because he’s a husband and a father. Because its the right thing to do. Staying is the hardest thing to do sometimes. And he is still here. With me. With my children, who thank God, don’t have to cry themselves to sleep at night, wondering where their Daddy is and why he doesn’t love them.

And I love and respect him so much for that.

To the Dad’s who Stay. To those who pray, play, read, cry, clap, hug, hold, uplift, sacrifice, love.

To the men who step up for those that don’t do their job.

To the women who are forced to pull double duty.

Happy Father’s Day

And thank you!

AGLOW IS ONLY ONE MONTH AWAY!

 

 

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Aglow Book MockUp

Sometimes, the brightest souls commit the darkest sins

Marcus Lothario plays hard, in and out of bed. Takes what he wants with no regrets. Until she comes along.

He considers himself the luckiest man alive. Not only is Camilla the most beautiful creature on earth, she’s remained pure, for him. Problem is, their bonding ignites a power that changes his bright angel into a dark warrior, and her sins will leave a dark stain on his soul.

Camilla Nilsson plays it safe. Works hard and avoids temptation. Always the good girl. Until he comes along.

When Marcus crashes her long overdue vacation and rescues her from a jealous demon, she’s exposed to a world few know exist. Her pure soul is the one thing that can damn her to hell. Her deadly warrior is the only one who can pull her back.

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©Krissy Daniels 2015

Adventures with Pepper. What A Bitch!

So yesterday, I’m trying super hard to get into writer mode. I’m sucking bad. Like, really bad. Like reading the same Facebook posts over and over, bad. Sure, I could blame Facebook, or lack of sleep due to the amazing book that kept me up all night. Truth is, our puppy, Pepper, is the number one contributor to my lack of concentration. The little bitch is very demanding, and cute, and impossible to ignore.

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When I’m trying to get in a full writing day, I don’t bother to get dressed. Yesterday was no exception. I pulled on my worn out leggings, my ugly but comfy t-shirt, and my long wool sweater to cover my dimply mom butt (you’re welcome, world). Notice I didn’t mention undergarments, because really, who wants to wear a bra if you’re just sitting around in your comfy clothes? Besides, my brain works better when my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder isn’t cutting off my circulation.

So it comes time to pick up my daughter from school. It’s only a few blocks away and I didn’t have to run any errands, so I thought, why bother to put my bra on? Heck, I didn’t even bother with shoes, just flip-flops, which really, in my opinion, are fine foot attire for any time of year. Then the Sexy Boyfriend says, “Hey! Why don’t you take Pepper with you?” So I do, because she loves riding in the car. I was lazy and didn’t grab her leash, knowing deep in my soul that she’d be a good little girl, follow me to the car, and hop in.

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We get to the car and Pepper stops to give me her, YOU JUST MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE look. I think to myself, Oh, shit. And just like that, she’s gone! Gone! Like a streak of white lightening. Down my long, muddy driveway, down the street, and straight into a neighbor’s back yard. I’m still standing by the car! Bra-less, shoe-less — and I have to run after her, through thick, muddy puddles, because I love the little bitch and I don’t want her to die. I have to sprint through the neighborhood, half naked, with my bosoms doing things no person should ever have to see.

I get to my neighbors yard and I can’t see her. So before trespassing into the back of their property, I knock on the door knowing they don’t speak English and I don’t have any idea how I’m going to explain what I’m doing on their front stoop, bra-less and out of breath. They aren’t home, thank God! I run to the back and Pepper is rolling in their flower bed with a look of pure ecstasy on her cute little puppy face. I get closer, and she’s covered, head to tail, in mud, bark, and chunks of some unknown, goopy substance.

I snatch her just before she dashes off again and get splashed with her new mud-bath concoction. Needless to say, I’m fuming. Pepper’s pissed because I ruined her beauty treatment. Her ears are back, she looks like a drowned rat, smells like a dead fish. I’m late to pick up my daughter, I stink, and I’m covered in mystery mud.

Now, Pepper is mad at me. At ME! – because she had to have a real bath and we put her collar back on. She hates her collar. She pouts for days when we make her wear it. So to punish me, she decides that my pillow is now her pillow. Every time I’m not looking, she sneaks into my room and uses my sleeping space to try and rub her collar off.

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I don’t have proof, but I’m pretty sure she attacked me in my sleep last night. I remember being woken by a jab to my side and the sharp rake of claws down my leg.

Of course, that could’ve been Sexy Boyfriend’s toenails.

Too Many Sexy Men

I am so happy to kiss summer goodbye. The kids are off to school and I’m ready to jump back into bed with my boys. Having my offspring home for the past couple of months cut my writing time down to nothing. I missed the sexytime with my heroes. But guess what?

I’m back!

I finally, FINALLY, turned Aglow (Apotheosis, book two) in to my editor. It’s been a long time coming. I started writing Aglow at the same time as Aflame (Apotheosis, book one). I’m excited to unleash Marcus Lothario, self proclaimed sex god, on the world. He’s so sexy, and so damn alpha. Camilla Nilsson is the one woman who can tame him, and holy hotness, does she whip him into shape.

Franklin Reed, or hero from How To Kill Your Boss, is coming back with a vengeance. One of the R.O.G.U.E. agents is out to make trouble for the happy couple. Buckle up for this one. There will be hell to pay for the poor bloke who puts Tate in danger again. The working title is How To Ax The Ex. I can’t wait to see what sexy adventures Franklin and Killer will get themselves into this time around.

I’m also dancing with the devil in a new adult, contemporary romance, currently titled, Truck Stop Tango. Six years after betraying Slade, his childhood sweetheart, Tango Rossi comes back to town seeking forgiveness. With a baby on the way, he  needs to right the wrongs of his past before he can move forward. Problem is, he’s still madly in love with Slade, and the sweet girl he grew up with, is hiding dark secrets that can destroy both of their futures.

I’m surrounded with sexy hotness, as you can see. My alphas are keeping me on my toes and I love every second of it. I have the best job in the world!

What now?

Well, Aflame’s blog tour is officially a wrap! What a fun month. Now, it’s time to get down to business. I have three new stories in the works. Aglow, book two of the Apotheosis series, How to Kill the Ex-Wife, and Truck Stop Tango.

How To Kill Your Boss – An Erotic Love Story releases in little over a month. That one pulled me through the ringer and I’ve had a hard time getting back into the writing groove after an excruciating couple months of edits. I’m not complaining though, because Franklin and Tate are near and dear to me and I can’t wait to share them with the world.

So, I’m off to write my little heart out, but before I go, here’s a fun excerpt from How To Kill Your Boss. Enjoy!

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Franklin tossed his cell at my feet, rolled down his window, and took a deep breath.

Classified? “Who are you?” I swiveled to face him.

His grim expression softened. Barely. “You know who I am.”

“Who are you?” I asked again, more a demand than a question.

“The man who keeps saving your ass.” He looked my way, and I got my first glance at his face. The skin surrounding his eye boasted several shades of purple and blue. His nose definitely didn’t look right, and three large scratches stretched from his left eye to below his cheekbone. Not bad for my first shot at kicking someone’s ass. Instinct urged me to reach over and offer comfort. I tucked my hand under my leg to keep it from such betrayal.

“Why were men shooting at you?” I asked, unable to cloak the seething anger in my tone.

“They weren’t.”

“Now you’re not making sense.”

“You have to trust me.”

“How in the world can you ask me to do that? Why is there a collage of me on your wall?”

Franklin’s lips drew into a tight line. The muscles in his jaw protruded.

“Classified?” I asked, fed up with the way the conversation was going.

“Yes.”

My pressure gage blew. I buried my face in my hands and screamed. “Take me back to the police station. I can’t be near you. I’d rather rot in a cell.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.” His voice remained calm.

I pulled on the door handle. “I’ll jump out if you don’t start talking. Why were men shooting at you?”

“They weren’t aiming for me, Killer. You were the target.”