The Marked is here! Get my #newrelease and #read an exclusive #excerpt!

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I didn’t announce this on my blog, but I announced it on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I was recently accepted as an author through Clean Reads. They picked up a book that I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever publish. It was my book, The Marked. It was originally called Knight’s Academy, but since it is a planned trilogy, I kept the Knight’s Academy as the series title. But today, I finally get to release my Knight’s Academy novel.

As you probably know by now, I’m normally a Christian fiction author, but this isn’t Christian fiction. It’s a YA paranormal romance. It’s new for me, but it was loads of fun to write. I hope that you enjoy this new genre I’m dabbling in!

So, what’s it about?

Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.
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When she’s offered a full scholarship to Knight’s Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.

Where can you purchase The Marked?

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble

Read an exclusive excerpt now!

“Can I ask you a question?” Myka said.
“Sure.”
“Won’t you get in trouble for jumping the wall at school, or since you’re in good with Headmaster Knight, can you get away with it?” Myka hoped her voice was light enough for him to figure out she was joking about the last part. She was still curious to know the answer, though.
Milo laughed. “I don’t usually get caught.”
“So why do you jump over the wall?”
“To escape.”
“Escape from what?”
“Life.”
Milo fell silent, a contemplative look overcame his face, and Myka wondered just what he was running from. But sometimes you didn’t need an excuse to run away and hide from life. She could relate.
He was different than when she’d first met him. She thought he was this broody jerk, and although he was still broody, he wasn’t a jerk. She couldn’t explain it, but she might be able to relate to him more than she first thought.
“Sometimes, I feel the same way. I would run outside at random and hide in the woods back home. There is this tree that has huge roots. I’d climb those roots and sit there for hours, watching the small creek run beneath it. It’s relaxing.”
“Do you miss that?” he asked.
“Yeah. Sometimes things feel overwhelming, like the walls are closing in on me. I think it’s claustrophobia, but I don’t know for sure.”
“I understand that feeling well. It’s like the academy isn’t big enough for me, like I need to be somewhere else.”
She nodded. “I can’t imagine that being raised there made it any easier on you.”
“It didn’t.”
He fell silent again, and Myka knew that was the end of the story. At least for now.
When they arrived at the boutique shop, Myka asked, “Do you mind if we go in here?”
“Of course. Anything you want to do.”
He opened the door for her, and she walked inside. The cool air felt good on her skin, and an apple pie candle burned on the counter a young woman leaned against.
“If you need any help, let me know,” she said in a heavy, Southern accent.
“Thank you,” Myka answered.
She supposed Milo would be bored with shopping, but she found the store quite charming. There were lots of brightly-colored clothes, purses, and big jewelry Olivia would love. She walked to the jewelry first and browsed through it. She could hear Milo’s quiet breathing behind her. “I didn’t figure you for a jewelry type of girl,” he said playfully.
“I’m usually not,” she answered with a nervous laugh.
She looked at the necklaces; one, in particular, caught her eye. A silver necklace with a large turquoise crescent moon charm hung on the shelf. Myka held the cool stone between her thumb and index finger, admiring it.
“Do you like it?” Milo asked.
“So much.”
“It’s beautiful, fitting,” Milo said, inching closer to her.
As he moved behind her, the heat of Milo’s body warmed her, along with the whisper of breath against her ear. Her stomach fluttered, and she took in a deep breath. He reached for the necklace, and his fingers brushed hers as he took it in his hand. She let her hand linger before she pulled it away. She turned to face him as he watched her every move. She leaned closer to him, and he inched closer to her. She wanted to kiss him, to feel his hands on her, and to taste his lips.
She pulled away quickly and fumbled through, “I saw a cute purse. Over there.”
Myka backed away and bumped into a rack of clothing. She turned around and walked across the store to the purses and looked through them, regretting not kissing Milo when she had the chance. Embarrassed didn’t even touch how she felt about what had just happened. There was no reason why she had pulled away from him. She wanted to kiss him, but when he was close to her, she freaked out.
Milo walked up behind her, keeping his distance. She had just succeeded in pushing him away.
Yep. She was an idiot.

New Year, New You?

Happy New Year, guys! I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season. I’ve been on a mini-hiatus from most of my social media sites. Actually, it’s been rather nice not being attached to my phone or laptop. Honestly, this is the most I’ve used my laptop in a while. 😉

Anyway, with it being the new year, resolutions are sure to be made. Normally, I have a long list of things I want to accomplish and change, etc etc, and although I do have a list, it’s more of a wish list-no, a prayer list. There are things I want to pray about and see where God leads. It’s things that I want in my life. And yes, one of those things is weight loss.

I’ve been advocating loving yourself as you are, and I won’t back down on that. I think that even though we love ourselves for what size we are and all, there is room for change if that’s what you want. I want to emphasize that last bit. I want you to know that you shouldn’t feel like you have to change. This has to be something that you want to do.

And, I want to do this. It’s not about the weight though. I’ve embraced myself and who I am. I love myself, and as conceited as that sounds, it’s true. I’ve learned to love myself for me. I don’t feel like I have to change. I want to change.

There will be people who disagree with me. That’s okay. I’m not doing this for them. I’m doing this for me. I want to feel better in my own skin. It honestly is about health for me. And, if I don’t succeed this year, that’s fine too. It’s not my main goal. Truly. I have more goals. More things that I want to achieve, but I also want to be healthier. Again, I want to emphasize that it’s not about my size and weight. It’s about me.

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I don’t know if you guys saw this or not, but before Christmas, I was on one of my author friend’s blog, Stacy Eaton. I was discussing the fact that we shouldn’t let our weight and how we perceive ourselves get in the way of getting in photos with our families and friends and making memories! We shouldn’t be afraid of how we look. We shouldn’t loathe ourselves. We should love ourselves, even if we think we’re a work in progress!

So, this year, is one of your “resolutions” to be a newer version of yourself? Or are you going to be the same ole you but with goals that might change your outer appearance?

Don’t think about this as becoming a new you. Don’t do it! You’re perfect. You’re beautiful. You’re awesome. But you’re also entitled to change.

#loveyourself and #youarebeautiful mean so much more than staying the same. It’s about embracing yourself as you are but also seeing your value enough to change if that’s what you want to do. The main thing is this, you’re awesome whether you want to change or whether you don’t. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 🙂

I know this post may seem like a contradiction in itself, but honestly, I don’t think it is. See, my opinion about myself isn’t fleeting. Sure, I have my days and I’m not perfect, but there’s one thing that I’ve learned. I’m beautiful. God created me this way for a reason, but it’s okay to want to be healthier. And that’s what I want. I need to drink more water and cut back on my sodas and sweets. I have vices just like everyone else, and I’m going to try and fix those vices. That being said, if I can’t keep up with this “resolution”, I won’t hate myself. I’ll just keep trying and continue to be me.

I don’t see this as a new me project. I see this as an improvement on my already awesome self. 😉 So, please. Continue to love yourself and work on that. Don’t think you have to change. But if it’s something you want to do, don’t think that you can’t do it because it will make you seem like you don’t love yourself. It’s quite the opposite. You love yourself enough to make minor improvements. Again, I’m not trying to contradict myself. I really do want you guys to understand that loving yourself is the most important thing, but it is okay to make changes. We aren’t expected to stay the same. Humans change. We grow. This could be part of that growth.

So, new year, new you? Or new year, same you (with minor improvements)?

P.S. To read my last blog post titled the same (which I’d forgotten about), you can read it here. It’s from 2015. 🙂