Thursday, April 23, 2015

Red Letter Days: What I Learned At Star Wars Celebration

If you've been following me across my social media accounts, you'll have noticed I recently went to my first ever convention. I am such a fan girl and lover of all things GEEK so when I was asked to go to the Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim this past weekend, I jumped at the chance. Although it's very much my husband's FAVORITE fandom in the world ... no, in the GALAXY ... I couldn't shake the feeling I needed to be there. I always try and trust my gut.

Boy, was I glad I did! Not only was it EPIC but also surprisingly profound. I plan on sharing the things I discovered attending, but for today, this message ... this experience is the one echoing most in my heart.

Taken by me at the Star Wars Rebel panel James moderated.

Who here knows who James Arnold Taylor is? To be honest, I didn't know before this weekend. All I knew was he was presenting the Talking To Myself panel before Mark Hamill *insert squee for Luke Skywalker* and after waiting for hours in line, I was happy I had a seat inside the massive stage area. I'm not ashamed to admit I mistakenly thought he was James Earl Jones so when out onto the stage came someone completely different, I was confused again.

Then he spoke and the rest of that hour passed in a blur.

James is the voice for Obi Wan Kenobi in the Clone Wars!

James Arnold Taylor is a GENIUS. He's an extremely talented and inspiring voice actor who dazzled the entire audience with voice after voice, sharing insight into his life and the joy he felt in pursuing his dreams. I was BEYOND impressed but NOTHING could prepare me for the end of his presentation. The part that had NOTHING to do with Star Wars or fandoms or work or show business.

It was the moment a single date in red letters flashed into the large screen above to stage:

February 13th, 2005. 

To everyone, it was any other day. To me, it's the day before my wedding anniversary. It's the day before Valentine's Day. But to James, it was significant. it was the day his world fell apart ... the day his identity was challenged ... the day he thought he'd lost his dreams.

He discovered black mold in his home and it was making him terribly sick. Since the age of 4, this man had KNOWN he wanted to do voices. He performed for friends and family. He made up characters. He worked hard over the years until he had earned the respect of his peers - becoming a highly sought after actor. He was living his dream, his passion. The world was his. That was until the mold made him so sick that he lost his voice - his gift and talent. Doctors worked to help him heal. He did everything he was asked, commuting to strict regimes with the hope of MAYBE getting back what he lost. All while doctors warned him he may NEVER get his range back the way it was. He shared it was his greatest challenge and darkest time. February 13th became his RED LETTER day - a date marked in his memory as one he's never forget.

As he shared his story, I realized I have my own.

April 23rd, 2014. 

The day I had a hysterectomy, forever removing ANY chance of me physically having a child of my own, of being pregnant and giving birth. The day I felt my world narrow as I said goodbye to the most sacred and heartfelt dream. The day my own sense of self was challenged and tested.

Listening to James speak of his heartache, tears instantly filled my eyes. Here was a man sharing his pain and I could identify. A year later and I STILL grieve. I still wonder "what if", even though the surgery gave me my life back. It marked the end of an insane amount of pain, agony I'd endured for over half my life because I desperately wanted a child. Even though I hated the choice, I knew that it was necessary. I couldn't function - hell, as years passed, more and more of each month was swallowed in pain meds, long baths to control pain, pleading with God and anyone who would listen to somehow make things better ... all while fighting doctors to not have surgery. I felt like James and I were the only ones in that arena, that somehow this stranger had looked into my heart and seen the anguish I tried hiding.

And then he blew my mind.

Then he shared something that gave me HOPE, something that made it near impossible to swallow as I did EVERYTHING in my power not to ugly snot cry in the presence of thousands of people.

James and his wife adopted a beautiful baby from China. While he didn't share the details, he did reveal an important date ... February 13th, 2005. There it was again ... his red letter date. THE EXACT SAME DAY HE BECAME SICK. THE EXACT DAY HE BELIEVED HIS DREAMS HAD ENDED.

The day his daughter was BORN.

His next statement stunned me, "Are you facing a challenge right now? Are you struggling?"

YES. Yes, I was and had been struggling! While I knew all the benefits to the surgery and received all kinds of advice on dealing with it afterward, it still felt raw! I'd denied it. I'd been angry. I'd cried and cried and cried. I'd done the "fake it until you make it." I'd talked about it. I'd wallowed. I'd ignored it. I'd given myself pep talks and beaten myself for being weak and not getting "over it." And still I struggled, some days worse than others.

In a flurry of words and inspirational quotes, James urged us to know we would be okay, that even though it felt hard, life does get better, that hearts can heal. He reminded us all that even when it seems the darkest, we never knew what the future held and that even in the midst of uncertainty and sorrow, something miraculous could be happening. He thought his dream had ended, and on that SAME day, a marvelous gift entered the world - HIS daughter. Someone that brought him joy!

So today, one year from me saying goodbye to my dream of giving birth, I hold on to that promise. I have no idea what my future holds - good things, I hope, because I know I deserve happiness in WHATEVER shape/form it wishes to manifest. While there is still that pain in my heart and tears still surface anytime I think and talk about it, I also know these simple truths:

Dreams don't die. They just sometimes they evolve. 
Trust things will work out.
No matter what, KEEP BREATHING.
Life is still full of wonder. 
There are still opportunities for me to love, laugh, and discover all the wonderful parts about myself.

Most of all, even though I write stories for a living, 
I AM MY GREATEST STORY and my journey is FAR from over. 

All this from a Star Wars convention. Who would've thought?

So I wanted to pass that on ...

Be gentle with yourself. Don't resign yourself to feeling life is over when a dream doesn't turn out how you want it. It doesn't mean you're broken. It doesn't mean the best is over. It isn't your fault and it isn't some kind of punishment for imagined sins or failure. You are STILL incredible and beautiful!

Sometimes sucky things happen. It doesn't have to break you, though.

So while April 23rd, 2014 marks a sad day in my life, I believe it also marks a beginning : one I'm looking forward to enjoying. While I don't remember all the quotes from James' talk, here is a quote  that's helped me ... I hope it help's you, too.

Thanks for letting me share.

Hugs and kisses xoxoxo

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Indulge Your Paranormal Romance ADDICTION!!

Are you ready for a new sexy paranormal romance addiction?

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Here's a short teaser:

“You want to be wooed, huh? I’m not sure I know how to do that. You may have to tell me what to do.” The cocky grin he’d been wearing suddenly became softer, his eyes twinkling, and I caught a flash of the boyish charm I’d fallen for.
“Oh no, I’m not explaining anything to you. You should know by now, Mr. Almighty-I-Am-Alpha. Just know this—if you don’t get it right … you’re a dead man.”
He let out a rich, throaty laugh, and the sound made the soles of my feet tingle. In fact, it made everything tingle, and I braced myself. I was about to get ravished.

Happy reading, everyone! 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Release - The Mystic Wolves: Volume 2 Box Set with SPECIAL Release Week Price!


It’s time to swoon and howl at the moon with the next box set volume from author Belinda Boring’s multi-retail overall TOP 100 bestselling Mystic Wolves series . . .

You’ll find Forever Changed, Savage Possession, Darkness Unleashed, and Last Wolf Standing – each installment raved about by avid paranormal romance readers who can’t get enough from their favorite and most beloved Mystic Wolves characters.


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Forever Changed

Waking up after an amazing night with her new husband and mate, nothing could've prepared Darcy for the epic bombshell Devlin dropped—explaining her heritage and revealing truths that completely blow her mind. When all she wants is to settle into marital bliss and pack life, Darcy's world is once again thrown into turmoil, forced to face a challenge that may very well destroy everything she’s fought so hard to preserve.

Decisions will be made. Love will be pushed to breaking point. Mason and Darcy face their greatest challenge, one that will leave them … FOREVER CHANGED.

Savage Possession

Danger still lurks within the shadows—both in Woodside Hollow, the supernatural community, and within Darcy. Even though she looks fine, she seems “altered” to those closest to her, something beyond the expected consequences of her dual nature. With reports of dark rituals and blood sacrifices being performed, the Council has their hands filled trying to solve that mystery, leaving Mason scrambling to find out what’s wrong with his mate.

Will the imbalance warring within Darcy eventually settle, or will her decision to become part vampire-part werewolf lead to a SAVAGE POSSESSION?

Darkness Unleashed

As the startling truth behind Darcy's strange behavior is revealed, the race begins as time runs out for Mason to save his beloved mate. Fighting against an unknown enemy, he must rely on instinct and powerful magic to uncover the devious plot to destroy the woman he loves. Just when Mason thinks he understands and has everything under control, the true mastermind behind recent attacks steps forward to claim authority over the Supernatural community. As the Master releases his cruelty and malice on those who dare to defy him, it will take everything the Mystic Wolves Alpha has to protect those he's pledged to serve.

Last Wolf Standing

War has come to the Mystic Wolves Pack—one that brings the supernatural community together in the desperate fight to destroy the Master. Things have never been so dire, or dark, for Mason and Darcy as their love for each other and their friends fuel their determination to win at any cost—no matter the price.

Hope soon turns to bitter frustration. Friendships will be tested. Lives are on the line—heartache and betrayal inevitable. Who will be THE LAST WOLF STANDING?

Happy reading, everyone!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bittersweet Melody Sneak Peek!

I am SOOO excited for this story! From the moment Cooper Hensley introduced himself to me, I knew he'd break hearts . . . mine included. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh, swoon, or reach in and give him a BIG hug.

I have a feeling you'll all feel the same, too!

“Okay, Caylee,” he murmured, defeated. “What did you need to know?”
“I know what the official report said about that last day, but what really happened. Enemy fire doesn’t tell me much.”
“If you understood what you’re asking, you’d know that it explains enough. We were out on patrol and we walked into an ambush. There were four of us in the group travelling down the main street and once the bullets started flying, we did our best to stay alive. There was no time for the other two squads who were assigned the village’s outskirts to come offer assistance.”
It was difficult ignoring the deadened way he spoke. “Was it quick?”
“Attacks like that often were. Get in and get out. Do as much damage as you can. We thought it was routine, but I guess they’d been planning it for a while, earning our trust, making us lower our guard somewhat.”
“Who was?”
“Insurgents. The enemy. We all knew something didn’t feel right that day. The streets were too quiet.”
“Cooper?” I reached over to lightly touch his hand that was clenching his napkin. Even though he was still slouching in his seat, the tension in his body was practically palpable. “Did my Owen suffer?”
He finally looked up at me and I regretted asking. I regretted being here. I regretted the tears that flooded his eyes. Even after all this time. My own tears threatened to spill seeing this man, someone who had seen so much, barely hold himself together. Suddenly I didn’t want him to answer. I wanted to protect him. I would move on without hearing whatever he was preparing to say.
His voice cracked. “I sure as hell hope he didn’t.”


Back to writing . . . Cooper and Caylee's story beckons!

Bittersweet Melody
A Damaged Souls novel

Cooper Hensley is the perfect front man for the Damaged Souls. After returning from his time as a Marine, all he wants is to bury himself into the rock and roll lifestyle with music, alcohol, and one night stands. Chasing sweet oblivion to numb his pain, nothing can rattle his carefully guarded heart . . . that is until Caylee Sawyer, the wife of his dead best friend, comes looking for the man she believes a hero. 

What she finds instead is someone broken, someone who needs to forgive himself and move on, someone who affects her so completely, she can't walk away. But can she convince him to lower his guard long enough for her to claim his heart? And when he does, will she be prepared for the consequences?