Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Rose by Megan Eggers

If you know me, you know that reading and writing are my havens, my RX and my go-to salvation. I love when I'm given something that someone poured emotion and concern into. The following short was sent to me by a fellow writer and friend- Megan Eggers. She's such a sweetheart and a bright literary talent I have no doubt will shine bright in the very near future. She sent me this short-story to--to me--show not all roses wish to shine in the garden.

Some just wish to be left alone to flower in the dark.


Thank you Megan. It's beautiful.
The greatest gift of all is words inked from the heart and penning from the soul. 

A Rose
By Megan Eggers
For Jas T Ward

She had always likened herself to a rose.  Not in a conceited or selfish way.  A rose didn’t ask to be beautiful, just as she didn’t ask for her beauty.  And the fate of that beauty was to forever be sought out, plucked from her home to be displayed as a trophy, then to be discarded when the beauty faded.   Like any rose, she had thorns, had to have some protection against those willing to use her for only her beauty.  The price of protection was to be alone, a solitary rose, untrusting of the world around her. 
Lila pulled her mind back from the melancholy thoughts and focused on her work.  Leaning over the drawing table, her long red hair fell forward, hiding her face as she preferred.  The house on the blueprint in front of her was coming to life, its base drawn in dark, straight lines.  Now she focused on her favorite part…the details that made this house stand out, made it extraordinary. 
The office bustled around her, but she paid no attention.  Her philosophy since childhood was still her guiding principle.  If she ignored them, they would ignore her.  It didn’t always work, so she helped it along by dressing in baggy, drab clothes, wearing her hair long and glasses she didn’t need to hide her eyes.  She walked with her head down, hoping that one of the snakes in the garden wouldn’t notice her.  It was a lonely life, but she preferred it to betrayal and pain.  Hiding in the weeds would protect her and her aloof, impersonal attitude would work as thorns when someone got too close.   Lila tried not to let anyone too close…except one.
Adding a second sloped roof that gave the house an angular feel, she set down her pencil and shook out her hand.  Opening and closing her fingers into a fist, she stretched her fingers out, but kept her head down.  She longed to lean back in her chair and stretch, but worried that too much motion from her would incite someone to speak to her, to notice her.  Packing her bag, she put it over her shoulder and slipped out of the office, no one noticing her in their hurry to get home.
The walk home was short, planned on the quickest and busiest route, the idea to get lost in the crowd, to be just a part of the ever moving wave of people.  Her building was secure, but with no doorman, chosen for that very reason.  In her apartment, she locked all the doors, paranoia forcing her to secure herself and her home before she could relax.  Lila dropped her bag, pulled off the glasses she didn’t actually need, and hung up the ugly, baggy sweater she detested.
Cooing to her kitten, Jack, she poured food into his bowl and scratched behind his ears.  Lila re-heated leftover spaghetti from the night before and then sat down at her computer.  As she ate and waited for it to boot-up, she smiled.  Now was her time to talk with the one person that could make her smile, the one person she could be open with.  This was the person she loved.  The one with which she could dream.






 



Friday, December 20, 2013

Zombiepalooza Radio and Me



So, tomorrow night (Friday December 20th) I am going to be on the air via live stream with the lovely Jackie Chin at Zombie Radio. (Okay fans at other places--So I got the night wrong, but when I arranged all this, I was battling the flu--apparently when I made that picture too..sheesh). I haven't done radio air time in years.

The last time was almost 18 years ago when I did my own radio show on FakeRadio.com and it was an adult sex advice show. I gave advice to newbs who were curious about S&M and BDSM. Yes yes, we even gave away a sex toy to a caller with trivia. It was a lot of fun. There was the one night that we had a caller who got his ___ stuck in a portable..well...vagina. We advised a hammer (in jest) and he took us seriously. On the air.

And apparently had very bad aim. It was both hilarious and grimacing to listen to.

But anyway, as I got my bio and background ready for Jackie to ask questions, she wanted to dive into the person behind the writing and how writing saved me and helped me. The "meat and potatoes" of the author. I froze. I sat there with my Word in front of me and had a minor anxiety attack.

I can talk about my writings all day long. I can chat up about the characters for hours. But me? I usually shut down.

But then I had a realization--my past made me. It got me to this point in my life where I write these stories. These tortured and pained characters that other people seem to love. A past that taught me about pain, heartache, suffering and the true darkness of the nature of human kind.

I am no longer ashamed of my past. I am not afraid for people to know it. In fact, I'm damn proud of my past in the fact that I survived it. I survived it and I grew from it. I used it to mold myself into something I always dreamed of being- An Author. And one that people want to read the writings of.

So...I typed away and went very much into depth about my past. And as I sat there and hovered over the send button (not knowing if they'll use any of it to base their questions on), I realized I just got over a huge hurdle.

My past....deciding my present and my future. No more.

And it feels good.

If you want to tune into me tomorrow night at MIDNIGHT FRIDAY (Eastern), there here is the link. They have a chat room and you can even call in. Hope to see you there.

http://ztalkradio.com/listen-live-chat/

Thank you as always and take care.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Whispers to the Writer: Jace Camden - Function



SERIES: SOUL BOUND SERIES
BOOK: Book One: Warrior
RELEASE DATE: Fall 2014

Jace Camden is the main protagonist in the Soul Bound Series: Warrior. This is the first book of the series and Soul Bound is very dear to me. Book one deals with  manic depression, the tragedy of suicide and the victims the pain leaves behind.

  Jace is a man whose haunted by a love still wanting him despite the darkness of death due to bonds of love. He's a tragic figure. Very rough childhood due to being gifted with second sight that was thought to be "from the devil" when he was very young. His own family wanted nothing to do with him and he was committed to a brutal asylum to be "saved" at the early age of eleven. It wasn't until he found some peace as an adult as he tried to come to terms that he was "insane" when he met Laura Camden. The youngest daughter of a prominent man in his home town, Jace finally found happiness and his soul mate. But things became twisted and pained as his beautiful new wife's soul was overtaken by something sinister. 

The insight below is a year after Laura's tragic death. A death that almost all believe Jace was the cause of. A murderer that got away with a murder. 

Our hero isn't doing very well. He's still trying to convince himself he's just insane, that he's just one RX from coping and what he sees and hears and feels...cannot be real.

***************************************************************************************************************

"Function. That's what I keep telling myself. Just function. Wake up, get up, do what you have to do and function. It's what every fucking shrink tells me to do. It's simple Mr. Camden, just function day to day."

Lets out a bitter laugh and rubs hands over his face. "That's such bullshit. No matter how many times I tell myself to function? I know it's a lie. It's a lie when I'm sitting in meetings listening to the blah blah of this or that and can feel her. It's a lie when I really want to enjoy just watching mindless blather on the television and she speaks to me. It's a lie when I try to sleep and she won't leave me alone. When I can feel her wanting what I can not give. It's all a fucking lie."

Drops hands and lets out a desperately long sigh. "I keep telling myself I just need to up my dosage. I just need to see about more sessions. Maybe run more. Sleep less. Eat healthy." More laughter and a pained sound. "I know that's bullshit too. I was supposed  to go too that day. Both of us. I know that now. I know that Laura never meant to spend eternity alone. That she had a plan. And it failed. But she's still trying to succeed. Sometimes I wish she had."

"I tell myself that failure is a good thing. That I'm still alive. I'm still able to wake up" curls lip in disgust "and function. Function. Function. Function." Smirks and spins copper bracelet on his wrist. "Fucking function. What does that mean really?"

Pins with a haunted hazel gaze. "Does it mean you get up? You get dressed? Toss some food down your gut? You smile when spoken to. Respond when asked a question? Yeah. That means everyone is fooled. They all think you're fine. They all can easily be tricked into not worrying. To assure themselves you're okay. You're no longer a danger. You're out of the fucking woods. Because they really don't want to think otherwise. It's easier to believe a lie than try to see the truth."

"Function. I hate that word. There's some days I want to just stay in bed. Refuse to function. To just lay there, let her come to me and beg and cry for me to go with her. To just close my eyes and cease to function. Would it end it? Would this fucking nightmare finally run its course and it can just...be...over?"


Drops his head to stare at the floor as he slowly shakes it. "Function. Did you know that no matter how hard you try to will your heart to stop beating it wont. No. It just keeps thumping along in your chest. That no matter how much you tell yourself not to breathe, your lungs betray you and will do what they want?"

Closes his eyes and rubs his palm over a ear that is forever ringing. Forever reminding. "That no matter how much you tell your head to give you a fucking break? It never does. How much you beg your heart to just stop hurting. To give you some peace. A minute would be nice. A day would be amazing. It just hurts more?"

Sighs and stands. "That no matter how much you say you're going to be okay. That one day it will be better and you'll be happy? You'll be able to function?" Looks back. "You know it's a lie."

Looks down at Laura's cold hand wrapping around his own. "And she knows it too. It's just a matter of time."

video




 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Holiday Gift - The Ward Way

So, it seems like everyone is doing holiday books, novellas, stories and the news feeds and Amazon are packed with them. Holiday's are not my thing and in years past--I've been a down-right mean person about them. They are getting better, but still don't match when you used to have a houseful of kids, family get-to-gethers and all that to add up to holidays. With me?

It's me. And the dog. And a cat (that tries to eat me when I give her love...). But in the spirit of Christmas and all things Falalalala, I've decided to write a Holiday story of my own. And in the spirit of being lighter and more joyful for the holidays, I've filled it with love, laughter and joy. 



Well....The Ward Way.  ENJOY!
A Holiday Gift- A Love Story. No Really. Okay...you got me. It's not.  

"Come on. Move it!" Craig had sweaty palms and his leg kept tapping on the floor board as he tried to coax just a little more speed out of Ole Blue (aka the 20 year-Chevy he was given by his dad). It was Christmas Eve and he had rushed out of the Foster family Christmas dinner way later than he had wanted. But Aunt Deja was there. And Aunt Sara, Aunt Susan, Angela, Andie, Ariel, Megan, Missy, Wendy, Lisa, Trisha, Kristal, Charlotte and sooo many more. All of them wanting to pinch his cheeks, pat his ass and tell him how grown-up and handsome he had become. Sheesh, he was seventeen, what did they think happened in all those years? Not to mention he had just seen that whole same gaggle of women last year at Christmas. The whole bunch of them were so...well, them.

Turning down the road to Jessica's house, the sweaty palms doubled in their effort to make him look like an idiot. Beads of the same stuff was tickling down his back. Just two more blocks. Two more blocks and he would be at Jessica's house.

Sweet, beautiful, perfect in every way Jessica.

They had been sweethearts since Junior High and now they were seniors in High School. All the guys were jealous of him and all her girlfriends thought she was lucky, because he totally and completely spoiled Jessica like crazy.


That last part was probably because she hadn't put out. At all. Sure they kissed and made out like the horny teens they were, but she had never let him have the hallaluhaha I'm in your pants and you're in mine celebration. She wanted to wait. Wait till it was right. Until it was just the right time. Special.

Yeah yeah. Whatever.


But she had called him last night to let him know that her parents were heading to the coast for the holiday and she had to stay here due to volunteering at the soup kitchen to help there (see, totally good girl) and that meant.

"Oh god. I think I'm going to be sick..."

She was all alone. And....


It was time.

"I'm gonna get laid. I'm gonna get laid!!!"



"Hello Craig."

Craig looked around. "Wait. Where am I?" Clouds were misting around his feet and there was Christmas music playing in the air. And in front of him? "Who are you?"


The pretty girl in the soft white robes smiled gently. "My name is Holly."

Craig narrowed his eyes and looked around more. "I was on my way to Jessica's house. How?"

"Oh that? You were broadsided by a truck. You died." She smiled that sweet smile again as if she just told him he dropped a candy cane. 


Wait. DEAD??

Craig lost it. No way did he just hear that. Maybe it was all the loud-ass music that was playing. "What? No! I can't be dead. No no no!" he spun around and slapped his hands over his face, "This can not be happening. I need to be with Jessica! You don't understand! This so isn't fair!"

The, well he guessed it was, angel just blinked at him as she spoke with a confused tone. "You are not happy to be in Heaven? Most are quite happy to be here rather than" she pointed down with a finger as her face got a grimacy look, "other places."

"I'm really going to be sick now." Craig dropped to sit and wrapped his arms around his legs with his head going to his knee in total don't-pass-out-and-look-like-a-wuss pose. "I don't want to be here. I want to be there." Holly gasped and he waved a hand around. "Well not that far down. But you know, back there. On earth. So I can see Jessica." He lifted his eyes. "It's really, really, really important that I see her. It's Christmas. She" his voice squeaked "has a really good present for me. One I've never gotten before. One I've dreamed about. Thought about. Wondered how it would be wrapped. If it would come with bows. Or maybe other accessories that would be fun to undo. See" he let out a huge sigh "I've never had anyone give me that gift. Even though I've told all the guys I've gotten that gift like a ton of times. It's a lie. This was going to be my very first gift ever. And now" head dropped back to his knee "I won't be able to even see it. Do all kinds with it. Because" threw both hands out with his head still on his knee "I'm dead."

Holly let out a little sniff, touched by his words as she wiped a tear from her perfect cheek. "Oh. It is Christmas Eve, isn't it." She knelt down to touch his knee and said softly, "That is very sad. So this gift, from Jessica, you've never gotten a gift of such love before?"

He looked up and shook his head, his lip jutting out for impact with his eyes filled with sadness and loss. "No. Not once. Dreams don't count do they?"


She let out a consoling sound as she rubbed her perfect little hand on his jean covered knee. "You have touched me Craig. I am going to give you a gift. We are only allowed to use it once. It is very special and once it is gone, it can never be used again. Or returned. It is saved for only the special of people and is never to be taken lightly. And once I've given it I can never take it back. Oh sure, I could lie about still having it, but being an angel, I am not very good at lying. The other angels would know. They would know I gave up my most precious gift. So I must choose wisely. Am I choosing wisely with you Craig?"

Craig blinked and his mind did wonder if the hot little angel babe was about to give him the gift that Jessica was going to give him. But as he listened he wasn't so sure so he shrugged. "I think so. It's a very special gift. So maybe that's what its used for?" He had no freakin idea "Maybe?" he couldn't help when his eyes wondered if the robe made her boobs look big. He hoped not. Jessica had really nice ones. But he did wonder about all the Victoria's Secret bags in his girlfriend's room. Gosh, she loved to shop...


The angel stood and smiled. "I'm going to trust my instinct Craig. I believe in love. I believe in the eternal light of the heart that can shine through the darkness. Can give hope the the needy. To give song to the silence!" She threw out her hands and Craig thought for sure she was going to break out into that whole Sound of Music crap like in the movie his mom made him watch every Thanksgiving. But then the angel looked down and held her hand out. "Yes Craig. I am going to give my gift to you." She lifted her chin and then her hands and Craig smiled. Angel booty. Death might not be so bad after all. "I am going to allow you to return to Earth. To see your beloved as my gift to you. You will have just the hour of midnight. And it the only time I am allowed to do it to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year. But I believe it is right. Is that what you wish Craig?"

His head shook so fast it was like a bobble as he jumped to his feet to take her hand. One hour? Heck, he'd probably only need 10 mins. Okay, maybe 20 mins if he wanted to be romantic about it. But one hour? Plenty. "Yes. I so wish that. Like that would be" stopped himself from dropping the F-bomb. Heaven probably frowned on that. "falalalala fantastic!"

She bounced with joy. "Yes. Fantastic yes." She threw her arms around him in joy and Craig thought that yep, robes were so deceptive. Maybe she should check out Victoria's Secret too. She pulled away and kept his hands in hers. "So Craig. Are you ready? As I give my gift to you in the spirit of Christmas in the name of love."

He smiled. "Oh you have no idea how ready I am. Years and years this has been building up to getting this gift. It was so bad some times, I thought I would go blind. Or grow hair on my palms. Or wear it down to a nub."

The angel blinked in confusion, her smile wavering. "You human say things that make no sense to me. But I don't get out much. So is that a yes? You have to say- Yes. Please give me your gift and it make it so." She got a serious look, "And know, I have given this gift to none other. And I can never give it again."

Craig smiled, so wide he thought his face was going to never be able to do anything else. "Sure. Yeah. Whatever. Yes. Oh you betcha. Yes. Please give me your gift. Make it so."

She smiled. "Then Merry Christmas Craig."



And just like that, Craig was standing in Jessica's bedroom. The moonlight was shining in through the window and Jessica was laying on the bed. She must have fallen asleep waiting for him to get there. Stupid aunts.

Rephrase for epicness--Jessica was laying on the bed...Naked. Except for a wide satin ribbon tied around her waist. Craig's jaw dropped and would have hit the floor if it wasn't hinged to his face. He swallowed so hard he probably hurt himself as he looked down on a body he had fantasized about for years. Slender waist, long legs with a soft brown little tuff of happy fuzz between them. His eyes went to her breasts and he frowned. Wow, he had really thought they'd be bigger than that. How could clothes have made that different? Oh well, they were still pretty nice and he couldn't wait to get his hands on them. And his mouth and any other parts that Jessica would let him put there.

It was Christmas after-all. 


Standing there, he whispered out her name softly. "Jess. It's me. Craig." She stirred a little bit and rolled to her stomach, still asleep.

"Oh.My..." he stopped himself considering the gift from heaven and all as he stared at her pretty much perfect backside. He couldn't wait any longer. He only had an hour and he was pretty sure Jessica wouldn't mind being woke up with him unwrapping his gift. He moved towards the bed and then....."Hey? What the hell?"

He had moved through the bed. As in, he was now on the other side. He panicked and looked at his hands and he could see them. But now that he looked? "Oh no. No no no!" He reached out to desperately shake Jessica awake but his hands went right through her too. Without a single feel of touch. He couldn't touch her. "Oh no no no!" He couldn't feel her. And she didn't seem to hear him. He was...

"OH COME ON!"

A ghost.


"Merry Christmas Craig!"










Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Choose 12.04.13 for Release Date for Madness?


See, when it came to deciding the release date for Madness I wanted it to be a date that was significant in my life. Some date that had ties to other things in it. There's not many good dates from the past. But I am a creative soul so here's the 'equation' if you will.

12+04+13 = 29

When I was 29 years old. I found my freedom. I had been in a very violent and abusive relation that lasted a few scant years. But the residual issues from that and the person that I unfortunately was a victim of, didn't stop when the papers were final. My day-to-day became a nightmare.

When I turned 29, I was a parent raising three kids and living on a shoe-string budget. It was very hard and I had the nightmare of my past still trying to destroy my future. And stop me from being happy. If not stop me from breathing.

One winter night-- that came full circle when my past once again visited. And this time...I fought back. It was not pretty and it was the stuff of nightmares. I tapped my own personal Madness that night to find strength I didn't know I had. I turned the demons that had me feeling weak, worthless and useless to my side. TO fight darkness. And to come to terms with it.  To not only acknowledge my own darkness inside, but to feed it, maintain it and realize it was a part of me that made me balanced and whole.

A lot like Reno.

So that winter night I fought. 

And I won.

My tormentor was put away. And I never had to see him again. 

So....the number 29 is very important to me. 
But I didn't just want to put it out on the 29th of some month. No.

Because it was December 4th, so many years ago that I found my own Madness, when I was 29....could be my friend and save me. 

Thank you....as always.

And thank you Reno and Emma- For being those persistent voices in my creative head. 

-J

MADNESS HAS BEEN RELEASED


 

 
WOW...what a day. After a week of DBP fighting with the presses in a game of Yes We May Be Small but this book is AWESOME and....losing PART of that battle and having to delay the print shipping to today when the book dropped on Amazon, B&N and KOBO with Apple ramping up any minute. It started at 6:30AM with a call from my son who let me know he had a soldier friend overseas that was looking for Madness on Amazon. After explaining all the details of such I decided there was no way I could sleep (Keep in mind, sleep was very elusive last 48 hours). The OVERWHELMING response on Madness being released has been AMAZING. Sales hit the moment the links were put up. Fans started sharing it, blogs started blasting it. Same with other pages for books.  For over an hour my newsfeed was FLOODED with MY book cover. MY book details. Links to BUY MY BOOK. I sat and watched it all for hours (much to Author Dog's dismay since she hadn't been taken out yet and I was still in my PJ's). It was like watching an actual dream become just a haze in your brain to something you could hold, share and give to others as real. This book has meant so much to me. The character Reno is like the manifestation of the inner child I never had a chance to be. Reno helped that inner shattered child learn to smile and laugh again. I owe this character a lot. Or as Reno would say: A lot. A lot. So here's to MADNESS release day. Its amazing and its not even half way over. A HUGE thank you goes out to all the fans, peer authors, Dead Bound Publishing staff and anyone and everyone that had a part in this. YOU ALL DID..whether it was encouraging me YEARS ago to write or not letting me kill off Reno and the book would have never happened. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. NOW..Go get infected....WITH MADNESS. 

Links to purchase:

Signed, Numbered, Printed: shop.deadboundpublishing.com

Review of Walker's Run by Mel Favreaux

 My Grey Matter's Take on Walker's Run:


I'll be honest-- I am not the best person to make commentary on the world of paranormal as there is so much out there for werewolves and the like. It's hard to tell the good-- from the bad-- from the humdrum. 

Howl in Walker's Run by Mel Favreaux-- the author's latest work in the Sanctuary Series. Eureka, I was intrigued. Her main female lead is a refreshingly strong and independent woman. And I found myself really finding bits and pieces of myself in the character for she was so real and well created.  The male lead was not over the top Oh-Please alpha but you had no problem realizing he truly was as these two met up. You can feel the chemistry with no doubts between the two.

The drama is very realistic and the flow of the story keeps you going along at a pace you forget you're reading, instead you're running right along with Walker's Run. I am new to Favreaux's writings. But I now consider myself a fan. And thank you for giving us something new and fresh in the genre. I look forward to reading more.