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Chains is sale… but probably not for much longer!

Like your suspense on the erotic side?  My erotic romantic suspense, CHAINS, is on sale in ebook. It’s normally $10.99 and higher, but right now it’s $4.99 at all platforms, so that’s a pretty good deal…

They weren’t friends. They weren’t enemies. The only thing the three girls had in common was the high school they went to in Madison, Ohio—until one tragic night. Now, fifteen years later, they’re returning home where passion—and danger—await…

Renee Lincoln was the homecoming queen—with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. After that horrible night, she rebelled the only way she knew how: by submitting to her wildest fantasies…

Tall, blonde, and athletic, Lacey Talbot was a golden girl with a bright future. She’s found success as a photographer, but no man has ever been able to satisfy her. No man but the bad boy she left behind…

Sherra Salinger has always looked like a princess out of some fairy tale. The books she writes, though, stem from the nightmare of that one night. And she shrinks from any man’s attention—especially the one stalking her…

They’re coming back to Madison—and it won’t be happy reunion. There are three men, all dangerous in a different way. And when each of them surrender their bodies to the heat, when they succumb to desire, they’ll find the safety they desperately need…

chains

 “Don’t lie to me,” he said, an underlying current of steel in his voice.

She rolled her eyes and sneered at him.  “Fine, then.  I’m doing pretty damn shitty.  Somebody busts open the front door, cuts up furniture, tear up my mom’s flowerbeds, tears up my car, all while I was blissfully unaware in the shower.”  An edge worked its way into her voice—she couldn’t help it, couldn’t help but sound a little bitchy as she added, “Then I see this guy that I fucked six different ways to Sunday, and find out it’s somebody that used to date one of my best friends.  Oh, I’m just peachy, Deacon.”

A grin curled the edges of his lips.  “Yeah, you’re going to be just fine.”  Then he slid his arms around her waist and eased her against him.

Just holding her.  Simple, comforting-and devastating.  There weren’t many people in her life who had ever been big on offering simple comfort.  Not her parents, not JD, not even Billy.

It was her undoing.  A harsh sob escaped her lips, followed by another, and another.

Deacon held her until the storm passed and then he eased her back, sat her down on the toilet, again treating her with the same care he’d use on a small child.  He rooted through the cabinets until he found some washcloths and he ran the water until it warmed.

All the while, Renee sat there staring at him, watching the play of muscles under his shirt, staring at his profile and comparing the harsh lines there to the features of the younger man from her memories.

It was there—plain as day, she could see it now.  Perhaps now that she was looking, she could see it. The hair shorter, a little darker. The dimples in his cheeks had deepened to deep slashes that bracketed his mouth. The lean, lanky lines of his body had filled out.

She hadn’t ever said more than a few words to Deacon, even though they’d grown up across the street from each other.  He ran in a different crowd and her mother hadn’t cared for the Cross family—common—that was Claudia’s outlook, even if they didhave money.

It had been fifteen years since she’d seen him.  That night.  Too many of her memories from that night weren’t exactly what she could consider clear.  Before that, she hadn’t seen him much at all since he’d graduated high school. Understandable, she guessed, that she hadn’t recognized him.

Of course, she also didn’t remember him being so damned domineering, either.

Even as her body went all weak and soft, thinking of his domineering the other night, she tensed when he turned and tried to wash the tears from her face. Renee turned her head and reached for the rag.

“Be still,” he ordered brusquely.

Narrowing her eyes, she said, “A night in your bed didn’t turn me into your pet, Deacon.”

That same, sardonic grin appeared on his lips.  “Yeah, that’s a likely image.”  Then he cupped her chin in his hand—his skin was rough, but so warm… Shivering, unable to stop herself, she moved a little closer, seeking his warmth. “Just let me help, okay, Renee?”

BAMM | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon | iBooks

New Post has been published on Shiloh Walker

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Conversations with kids

Bratlet pops out up in her bed this morning and the first words out of her mouth:

Mom, would you rather have a bowling ball or bowling pins as a weapon?

???

Ah, bowling pins, I guess. You could swing them.  Bowling balls are heavy.  That’s an odd question.

She climbs out of her bunk and says,

Yeah, I had a weird dream.  I’d rather have a bowling ball.  You could smash things.

When the conversation goes like this, you just go with the flow.

Well, like I said, bowling pins would work better. You could swing them.  Like a sword or a baton.

She adds:

Or a mace!

That’s my girl.  She’s eight.  And she knows what a mace is.  Should I be worried?

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Turtle time

We went and saw TMNT and Guardians of the Galaxy at the drive in over the weekend.  Yes, we still have a drive in nearby and it’s awesome.

via IMDB

I liked Turtles.  It was, of course, a different interpretation because nobody ever lets a story stay as it is, but I think the green ooze kind of stunk as an explanation for their awesome anyway.  Also, Donatello as a total geek was totally adorable.  The story was all smash-em up, geek fun, typical Michael Bay, but it was cute.

And then, Guardians.  Honestly, I hadn’t planned on seeing it.  Cuz, really… a talking racoon? But, well, color me impressed. But the talking tree-thing was way better than the talking racoon.

via IMDB

Really. I should just stop doubting.  If it’s Marvel, I just need to say, “Yes.”

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Admit it. You’ve had these moments

No interruptions

h o p e

(Source: skywalkerss)

(Reblogged from captainssolo)

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Twitter Time Out

I think I need a break.

I was getting ready for a funeral today, trying to get some stuff done, eyed twitter, saw some news there…and I realized…I’m tired.

I’ve discussed before that I had issues with depression and it’s getting a leg up on me.  It’s been dragging at me most of the summer and I’ve been gritting my teeth, trying to ride it out.  It’s not happening.  It’s trying to get the better of me. I won’t let it but it’s time to cut back on some of the things that tend to tie me up.

Everybody has their own different triggers, their own ways of coping…some of my best coping skills are via my books and it’s always been that way.  Some of my worst issues have always worked their way  into my books, although they are twisted in ways you probably wouldn’t recognize, unless I explained it.

So I’m cutting back on some of the things that pull me that far away–or maybe I should say, the things that draw me that much inside myself, so twisted up that all I can hear is that noise and I can’t focus on the good things.  I can’t focus on the right things. I can’t see things as they are, just the twisted mess that my brain is presenting to me.

So I’m taking a time-out.  I’m not blogging as regularly as I used to, just a couple times a week, so that won’t change much.  My facebook page isn’t going anywhere, but I don’t get lost there like I do on twitter.  That’s where I get obsessive and too often, very lost.

I’m debating on whether or not to shut it down altogether. For now,  I’ve cut down my follows – I looked at it earlier and it was…easy.  Or easier.  Now I’m going to take a break and see if that helps.  If it doesn’t, I might just shut it down or go all emergency puppies all the time.

And…don’t take this personally, but I’m not opening comments.  Usually when I mention depression, people leave well-meaning comments, but some things are the exact wrong thing to say and frankly, I’m not up to handling the well-meaning comments that people often make that often just make me feel worse.  I appreciate the good intentions…I just need to get level first.

New Post has been published on Shiloh Walker

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Some losses hurt more than others

A man who brought so much laughter into the world is gone.  I think the world just became a little bit darker when the news went out last night about Robin Williams.

It’s a miserable sort of week… I have to bury a friend tomorrow and now, looking at all the articles about Robin Williams, it makes me that much sadder.

RW 2014

The movie Patch Adams is probably my favorite RW movie, because it’s got such a true message to it, and the man behind the story, the real Patch Adams seems like an amazing man, who has viewed medicine differently from the beginning. If we could get the rest of the world to see through his eyes, maybe we could change how often people are lost to suicide.

This is from an old CNN interview, but the real Patch was asked about what he thought of Robin Williams portraying him in the movie and Dr. Adams replied:

 “I think Robin himself is compassion, generosity and funny…”

(more)

That’s a pretty powerful mark to leave on the world, and a beautiful gift he gave while he was here.  That he offered so much joy while there was that much pain inside him is heartbreaking.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Depression is an ugly, vicious bitch and it lies.  You’re not alone. There are people who love you and people who care.  Reach out when you need it.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Later today, we have a visitation for the friend I lost a few days, an old man who had the kindest, purest, gentlest heart of anybody I’ve ever known.

It’s going to be a rough for days, especially for me and my husband. Later this week, I think we’ll watch Mrs. Doubtfire with the kids. Laughter is good for the soul.

Treasure the people you have you in your life. Never take any of them for granted.

Quote via Chasing the Frog & Dr. Patch Adams | Image Patch Adams movie © Universal

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Reader Q on abuse in books

So I had recently somebody ask me why I had abuse in my books, specifically Kit’s books…was I having fun torturing her?

This comes up a lot, so I’m just going to blog about it and when I get asked, I’ll direct people here.

Do I torture my characters or write about abuse because it’s fun?

No.

I’m not a plotter.  I don’t set out with a plan in mind lets see how much hell I can put these characters through.

Now when I’m writing romance, I do work at finding realistic ways to keep them apart, because if you’re not doing that, you don’t have a romance.  You just have a HEA.  There has to be a conflict, internal and external, or there’s just no story and what’s the point.

But yes, I do have a habit of writing about people who have gone or are going through abuse.  And no, I don’t do it because I think it’s okay.

Abuse appalls me.

Sexual abuse appalls me.

It pisses me off.  I regularly donate to RAINN and I’ve mentioned the organization in at least one, if not more, of my books.

Bullying appalls me.  I’ve the one who will approach kids and teenagers when I see them picking on somebody else and interfere.  Have I gotten yelled about this?  Yes. Do I care? No.

Domestic abuse appalls me.  There’s been more than one time when my husband was almost positive either he, me, both of us would end in either in jail, or the hospital because I’d see something happening that I didn’t like and I’d shoot my mouth off and the guy involved wouldn’t like it.  When I go out of town on a trip, he tells me to stay safe and behave, and more often than not, I suspect it’s because he knows how I am with my mouth.

I had to leave my day job in nursing, in the end, because of burn out and part of that involved a boy who’d been abused by his father. It was breaking me inside.

I grew up seeing more than a few people I knew in life be abused and I know people even now in those situations.

Trust me…abuse isn’t okay in my book.  And if it’s okay in anybody’s book, they had a deep problem that is probably unfixable.

But abuse is out there.  Much of society turns a blind eye.  I don’t.

One reasons I’ve written the FBI Psychic books, particularly THE MISSING was because like most moms, I have fears of bad things happening to my kids. No, nothing ever has.  But I put my fears down on paper..I make them more manageable and I twist the bad things I see in society into a way that makes to where the bad guy is the one who goes down.  We don’t see in that in real life often. THE DEPARTED had a scene that was inspired by a real life bullying of a high school girl by some boys during her senior prom. I changed the set-up, I changed the outcome, I changed the methods of the madness, but I left the way one of the parents responded as it played out because the parent of one boy tried to act like …hey, it was no accident…her death was a tragic accident.  My character-well, one of them, didn’t die, but the abhorrence of what they tried to do is still there.

My romantic suspense that recently came out was set in Madison Indiana and yes, it is completely fictional, although some things I’d seen in the media – other years – did play a part in some of the things I wrote about, particularly about how people will turn a blind eye to some of the most disgusting evil in society.  Somebody made a comment along the lines of I can’t see this happening anywhere.  I hoped it never does, but the fact is, child abuse happens.  It happens daily.  It’s happening in your town.  Possibly on your street, or by people you know.  Pretending otherwise doesn’t change it.

I’ve always written about some of the harsh facts of life in my romantic suspense stories and yes, in the urban fantasy stories.  Evil happens and sometimes, there is no justice for it.  When I write about it, I can find justice…I can make it happen.  I always thought this was the main reason I did it…to make sense of things that have no sense in my head.

But I’ve realized it goes deeper than that and it took attending ConFusion and speaking on one of the panels to understand just what it was.  One of the panelist, I believe it was Christian Klaver, made a comment.

Horror is the most moral of genres

That sounds like a strange statement, doesn’t it?

Horror is about hacking people up, the woman running naked into the field…

Or is it?

See what WhatCulture says about it?

After watching Carrie, I bet you will never pick on the underdog or weakling in your life again for fear that you will go up in a blazing inferno or be killed by flying kitchen implements.

and

The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue tells us to avoid messing around with nature lest we unleash a wave of flesh hungry undead zombies. 

Sure…they are graphic moral messages, but those messages still exist.

Now, I don’t write horror, although yes, some things are rather horrific. I don’t think I try intentionally to write a moral message.

I don’t turn my back on the ugly things that exist in society, but what I do try to do is this…the people in the books I write are often broken.  And by the time I’m done with them, they are stronger–they come into my head as broken and they have a story.

I’m not going to fight the stories that God gives me. Humans are capable of remarkable things.  Some of the people that I’ve known who have lived through abuse are now free of it…and they chose to escape it.  It wasn’t easy, but they left it behind.  They fought free of it…some ran from it. But they escaped it.

Others, sadly, didn’t get away.  Or haven’t. They are still trapped in that ugly cycle. People turn a blind eye or think, Why don’t they just leave…if it was just that easy, they would.

But many of the stories that come to me are about broken people and during the course of the book, my job is to take that person (or persons) and make them stronger, to help them find the bits and pieces and put them back together.  And find a happy ever after, hopefully, justice or closure for whatever was done.

This is what I have a voice for.

I’ve lost track of how many emails I’ve gotten from survivors of abuse, be it domestic, sexual or emotional–there’s one in particular that I can remember reading her email even now and I cried as I read it.  It’s been years since I received that email and I still remember her name–that’s not just unusual, it’s unheard of for me.  She wrote of how she’d read FRAGILE…how she’d cried…and then she thanked me, because she felt like it had helped her take a step toward healing after her own abuse.  She felt that book had given her a voice.

Has Kit from the Colbana books been through hell?  Yes.  Am I trying to break her? No.  What people didn’t see is that she was already broken, even in book one.  She used her sword as a crutch, put all her value in it.  Others saw that she had more worth than that.  Why did things have to happen the way they did? Well, if Kit was around to ask, you’d have to ask her, because I didn’t plan that.  I can tell you that Kit probalby won’t have an answer, though.  Bad shit happens, period.  That’s the truth in fiction as well as in reality.  Kit was never going to be a character where life was smooth-sailing for her.

But I don’t plan these stories…they play out for me and I write them down.  They come into my head,  almost like a silent movie reel and I’m just the narrator.  I couldn’t have changed that ending if I tried–the only thing I could have done was written it…and not published it.

Nobody has to like how the book turned out and nobody has to like the book either.  But I didn’t write the book just to abuse my character.

I don’t carry these themes in all of my books.  My contemporaries are lighter, they’re fun and easy and sexy.  But the RS books and the UF books take a hard, sometimes brutal look at things.

I don’t write about abuse in my books because I think it’s okay.

I write about survivors.