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From the outside looking in, you can be more objective to someone's situation.
People only see what you have, thinking your life and marriage are sheer perfection based on your tax bracket. If only they could step inside long enough to see how cracked the foundation truly is.
True or False:
The grass isn't always greener on the other side.
I firmly believe the only people who speak this nonsense are the ones living a life of contentment. They use this cliche to persuade you from searching for more out of life.
True or False:
If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.
This momma hasn't been happy for a long time, and I plan on changing that.
The grass may not be greener on the other side, but if I'm the one mowing the lawn, who the hell cares?!
My husband use to refer to the internet as the devil. He trusts nothing that takes place on the screens I’m constantly working from. It’s easy to sit back and judge something you haven’t allowed yourself to explore. I finally broke him out of his no-internet accessing flip phone, and he has now come to the dark side.
Where I’m engrossed in social media and keeping up with my readers and fellow authors, he’s now consumed by stupid, childish games that make absolutely no sense to me. He likes to complain and assume the worst on my end, throwing out the fact that he’s kept in the dark and has no clue who I interact with. This is true. I do keep him out of my author world bubble. It’s mine. I don’t want to share it with him. If I allow him to get close enough, I know he’ll pop it. And I’m not ready to fall down to reality. He doesn’t get my “job” and doesn’t even see it as one—although he doesn’t complain when my “job” buys him stuff.
Funny how that works.
The internet is my office. And a very, very distracting one at times. But it’s a necessity. I wouldn’t be known without it. He doesn’t get it. He has no clue how much work goes into this passion of mine that has turned into a career. The truth of the matter is, he doesn’t support me. So therefore, his mind isn’t open to everything that goes hand in hand with me being an author. All he sees is me on my laptop or phone and he instantly thinks I’m chatting with people—guys—I shouldn’t be.
And maybe I do.
And maybe I shouldn’t.
I’m unhappy. I’ve been this way for a couple years now—since I started writing my books, to be more precise. I didn’t wake up one day and tell myself, “Self, I want to be an author.” I woke up one day realizing I needed more in my life. Not that being a stay at home mother and wife wasn’t satisfying, but it definitely wasn’t quenching my thirst. Something was missing, and I was on a mission to find it. That’s when I discovered writing and that I could write out whatever I wanted and toss it into the black-hole known as the internet and if someone read it, cool.
It felt amazing letting out anything and everything I had on my mind without any expectations in return. Slowly I started gaining readers. It was scary and exciting. There were actually people who wanted to read what I had to say. Why? I didn’t understand it. But as they started conversing with me, one by one, I realized I wasn’t alone in the grand scheme of life. And that felt good. I felt like my purpose had been found. And I planned on embracing it no matter who had my back, which my husband didn’t. But his unsupportiveness didn’t detour me from continuing my writing journey. It wasn’t a choice. It’s my destiny, my future, the passion burned throughout me and I couldn’t extinguish it even if I wanted to. And yes, there have been times I wished I could shut the ideas out. It completes me and gives me a sense of purpose. When a reader tells you that your story moved them, helped them, made them laugh or they related even a tiny bit to something you wrote—it changes you.
And that’s exactly what’s happened to me.
And dammit, I like who I’m becoming.
I want to embrace this revolution rising within me. I want to spread my wings and expand my horizons and see where the possibilities of it can one day lead.
But I can’t.
Because I’m stuck.
Being a prisoner to a life of contentment, knowing that you settled and wishing you knew then what you know now is so disheartening. I’m married to someone I wanted by my side from the get go, but wouldn’t grab my hand. Now that he sees me pulling away, knowing I’m unhappy, he’s grasping for my fingertips, trying desperately to slip his fingers between mine and grip with all his might.
But it’s too late. My fingertips are now digging into my hands, forming fists. Him refusing to take the journey with me, not only hardened my stance against him, but also my heart.
I can’t change it. I can’t change the way I feel. I can’t go back to two years ago when I picked up the first book I ever had the urge to read, and warn myself of what would take place once I closed that story with a new outlook on life. And if I could, I’m not sure I’d want to.
I knew it the first time he came over to my apartment and we ended up sleeping together that I was settling. I was compromising who I was, and who I wanted to be—even though I wasn’t sure of who that was.
The ironic part of it all is me settling led to my passion. But now I’m in a predicament. Do I stay with the man who loves me, but doesn’t know how to fully support me, and stay unhappy and fake it for the rest of my life…or do I jump bail and find what brings me joy? I already know the answer, but I tried it once. It wasn’t planned out, and in return left me freaking out. I have kids to take care of. I have to be smart instead of jumping on a whim and praying for a safe landing.
Waiting it out shouldn’t be hard, right?
I’m sure most will say it’s me being a horrible wife and that I shouldn’t have put myself in this situation. To an extent, I agree. I know I should leave my husband before flirting with the opposite sex. I know all I’m doing now is flirting with disaster.
I can’t help it…or stop it.
It could all be the fucking author in me reading into it, writing my own personal whacked out fairytale.
I know people say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but something inside me makes me want to test that theory.
Harlow Paige is a known author using a pen to shield her identity (and others) as she writes about her adventures and many, many mishaps in the world of online dating. Her Series of Cliches is bound to resonate within any woman who has jumped back into the dating saddle. No worries if single-hood doesn't apply to you. This series will be full of real life honesty, as Harlow twists her life experiences with a bit of fiction to keep the reader guessing. Everyone who joins in on this adventure will be able to relate in some form, and if not, will still be rooting her on along the way.
Harlow asks that all willing participants please keep their hands, feet and legs inside the ride at all times. Your safety... and ENJOYMENT is her number one goal.
Taint (The Snap Trilogy #2)
by Tara Dawn
Cover Designer: RMGraphX
Release Date: March 31, 2016
I don't know who I am anymore, or what I'm becoming. Time doesn't exist in this godforsaken Hell I call my life. Every time I find a semblance of hope, it's bled away. Just like I'm bleeding away. The longer he believes he's won, the more I die inside. I may be nothing but a shell by the time this is over.
I failed her. I couldn't keep her safe. Now I may lose her completely. We're running against a clock controlled by a madman and we don't know when he plans to end his game. Every minute that passes without finding him makes the thought of killing him that much sweeter.
I didn't think it would be so easy. Pretty soon, my Snap will be on the streets and I'll be living the dream. That is, after I take Cash out. With him gone, I'll control not only the drug, but Hazel as well. If she listens, she will have a hell of a life. Right. Beside. Me.
Taint will be available on all retailers release day!
If you haven't read Snap (Snap #1) in the trilogy, now is your chance to become a Snap Addict before Taint goes live!
I never would've guessed my life would lead me where I am today, wedged between a stalker and a stranger in the midst of a drug war that I'm unsure of how I entered. One wants to hurt me, the other seems to want to heal me, but there's more that he's after and I don't know if I can give him what he seeks.
I was sent to find answers when no one else could find them. What I found was a woman in need and a psycho dealer working toward his own agenda. I wasn't to get involved, but her eyes call to me and I know they hold the information I seek.
She doesn't think I'm good enough for her. But I'll show her. Hazel belongs to me and has since that night that I claimed her. I'll get back into her good graces. I have to. She has something of mine and I'm not stopping until I have it all.
*This book contains scenes of drug use, rape, and brutality. It is intended for readers over 18. Reader discretion is advised.
Tara Dawn is a married, stay-at-home mom who homeschools her three sons. When she's not busy with them, you can find her reading, talking about other authors and books over at The Word Wenches book blog, writing, crafting, or hula hooping. She wears many hats and finds that if you aren't learning something new everyday then you aren't living to your full potential.
She's addicted to Facebook and loves connecting with others and making new friends. You can find her on there all times of the day. Stop by her page and say hello, or shoot her a friend request. She loves shooting the shit on the regular. Just beware that she curses like a sailor.
When I left Nashville, Tennessee, I knew deep in my heart I wouldn't be back. I knew I would never be heard on every country music station around the world, and I would never step foot on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Cold hard guilt and responsibilities that I didn't want forced me on a different path.
Me being responsible for an eighteen-month-old was a horrible idea. Me being a second grade teacher in a catholic school was plain ludicrous.
Life sucked, love hurt, and I didn't know who to pick.
I dozed off with Rydell in my arms and a weight on my shoulders, but I didn’t know why. I couldn’t pinpoint where the darkness came from, but I had a good hunch. No matter how many times I tried to ignore it and say it wasn’t so, something kept me from feeling grounded, something like Kit Noel Berry. The sudden thought that had turned into urgent words caused Rydell to jerk awake.
“What’s your middle name, Ry?”
“Your middle name. What is your middle name?”
“Rydell is my middle name. Edith Rydell Brinkley. Why?”
I shrugged one shoulder and kissed her forehead. “Just curious. Come to North Carolina with me next month. I don’t want to go without you. Maybe we’ll find some place to busk or something.”
Even through the dark, I could see the puzzled expression. “I can’t. I made plans to go to Miami gambling with Wendi. I told you that, but I will be here for her birthday on Sunday. Promise.”
“But what if I said not to go with Wendi, that I really want you there with me?” I questioned.
“Where is this coming from, Brantley? I don’t know if I’m reading this wrong or not, but in case I am, I have to tell you, I won’t do it.”
I wore the puzzled expression this time. “Do what?”
“I refuse to be second best to anyone and I refuse to carry that kind of jealousy again. I love you, and I believed you when you said that there is nothing between you and Kit. I have to, Brantley. I can’t carry that around like I did with Ryan. There were always girls hanging on him, and it gutted me. I’m not that girl. If I have something to worry about with you and Kit, then I need to know this right now. Dump me, don’t cheat on me.”
I leaned in on one elbow and gave her a serious expression through the dark. “Babe, you never have to worry about that. I have everything I need and want right here with you. I was merely begging for my own self-satisfaction. I hate the thought of not seeing you for two days.”
Rydell snickered and touched my face. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even you should know that. It’s two days. You’ll survive. Go to sleep. Bay is going to be awake in about five more hours, if we’re lucky.”
I plopped to the bad and took a long deep breath of Rydell’s scented shampoo, or her lotion. Something smelled amazing.
One second I had just closed my eyes, and the next, I heard a loud ringing coming from the living room. I jumped up and darted out when I realized it was my computer and Kit calling me on Skype. I darted to living room, cussing a plastic cow when I ran out to shut it up.
“Jesus, Kit. We’re not even awake yet. I am supposed to call you, remember?”
“You have a morning woody,” she giggled.
My eyes dropped to my shorts, and my hand covered my crotch. “Let me get woke up and I’ll call you back. Bay’s note even awake yet.”
“It’s almost nine-thirty on Christmas morning there. I’ve been waiting all day for this.”
“I open a toy, Daddy.”
“See, she’s awake. Merry Christmas, my little Bay Berry.”
I looked up to Bay, holding Phil, and wearing her cute little nightgown, one sock on, one off. “I’ll call you back, Kit. Give me ten minutes.”
Of course that wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t quick enough to stop Bay. She darted in front of the computer before I had a chance to put her in the right pajamas. “Oh no, I’ll wait. It took me twenty minutes to get connected. You go take care of that and I’ll talk to my sweet baby, Bay.”
I went to the bathroom in my room, covered Rydell’s naked ass with the sheet after a quick peek, and slid on a shirt and sweats, closing the door behind me. This might go better than I had planned. Rydell drank at least a six pack, and we were up really late. If I was lucky, I’d make it through Christmas morning with my family before—Wait. Not my family. I shook off the thought and started coffee, wondering why I had just internally said that.
Two cups of coffee, and five presents from her mama later, we were done. Thank God. I relaxed realizing I didn’t have to deal with any Rydell drama. One more present and I was out of the woods.
Bay opened little leather bracelet with silver diamond way too big for her wrist, and I turned my frown from her back to Kit.
“What time is it there, Brantley?”
I looked over my shoulder just as the doorbell rang. “Ten, hang on. Someone’s at my door.”
“Oh, yay! I can’t wait.”
My frown continued while I went to the door, wondering what the hell she had bought that she couldn’t wrap. I opened the front door to a truck parked in my driveway and a boy about ten or so at my door, fluffy white kitten in hand.
“My titty, I titty, Daddy.”
I was speechless. The little boy handed it to Bay wearing a big smile. I had to pick her up and help her to keep her from breaking his neck. “The lady in the email said you’d pay me when I got here. It was only twenty-five, but she said I could get fifty since it was Christmas.”
“For a cat?” I exclaimed, uncaring of his young age.
“That’s what she said. Want me to show you. My mom has it on her phone.”
“No, that won’t be necessary. Here you go, Merry Christmas,” Rydell said from behind me, her fingers inside my wallet.
“My titty, Dale.”
“I see, baby. Merry Christmas. I’m going to shower while you finish up with Kit. Merry Christmas to you too cowboy.”
I watched her walk away amazed. That’s why I was so in love with her. Rydell didn’t do drama. Ever. She could have been pissed about the whole kitten thing, but she wasn’t. She was happy, ready for our own Christmas. What a relief.
I walked back to Kit with the stupid little cat. “Are you kidding me? You bought her a cat?”
Kit beamed from ear to ear. “I’m hoping it will replace Phil, and you sort of bought it. Sorry about that. I didn’t have time to get it sent. I have been searching for a kitten close to you for two weeks now. Ahhh, look. She loves it.”
I shook my head, catching a glimpse of Rydell, standing in the hall with a cup of coffee to her lips. She winked at me while standing there listening.
“Okay, tell Mommy goodbye, Bay.”
“I pway a titty.”
Kit laughed, pulling my attention back to her. “You better name the titty, and one more thing.”
“Those are not the pajamas I bought for her. You’re lucky they’re adorable. Did your mom buy those?”
“What the hell am I supposed to do with this rat ball?”
“I would name it if I were you.”
“Yeah, right. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye, Bay Berry Jandt. I love you so much. Merry Christmas, baby.”
“You can call later and I’ll let you know whether it’s still alive or not.”
“Bye, make sure she has the best day ever.”
“I will, starting with some breakfast. Merry Christmas, Kit.”
“Merry Christmas, Brantley.”
I closed my laptop and looked to Rydell, waiting for the storm.
I rubbed my face while sputtering a frustrated breath through my lips. “What did you want me to say, Ry? I couldn’t say, oh no. Rydell bought her that nightgown.”
“I expected you to tell me the truth last night, idiot. That was something special from her mom. You could have just been up front with me. She could have worn my later. Don’t do that, Brantley. I love her to death, but I’m not her mom, and I will never try to be.”
Again, Rydell surprised me. I thought I was about to get an ass chewing for not telling Kit that Rydell bought it for her, and here she was mad because I didn’t tell her about Kit’s. Women were way more complicated than I could have ever guessed. Exactly the reason I didn’t get involved with them. “You’re right and I’m sorry, but you were so excited about it, I didn’t want to take that away from you.”
At least that softened her scowl. Rydell smiled at me, her head tilting to the side.
“Thank you for thinking of me like that, but next time just tell me.”
“Pinky promise, now can we get on with Christmas?”
“For sure. I’m going to jump in the shower. You go start bacon.”
I talked to my mother and Bridgett on Facetime while Bay played with her favorite toy, a white little fur ball, accusing them of being in on it. Even though they denied it, I could tell by the way they talked to Bay that they knew. Bridgett asked her what she named it before I told her she got it. Guilty.
Despite the fact that I thought about my little man Simon more than once throughout the day, I had the best Christmas I’d ever had in my life. Rydell and I exchanged gifts, and Bay opened a little pink guitar from me. She loved it almost as much as her new titty. I recorded her singing, Let it go, at the top of her lungs and sent it right to Kit’s email. She would piss her pants laughing. Rydell and I could barely contain ourselves. She was no doubt a performer. Her little foot tapped on the floor just like mine, and her face showed more emotion than Adele’s. My little county singer. Bay Berry Jandt.
Jettie Woodruff is a lifelong writer, living in a pretend world since she was a little girl. Jettie spent hours filling pages of spiral notebooks with a number two pencil and a wild imagination. Her very first story was a scifi of all things.go ah
Jettie writes more along the lines of erotica now. She likes to keep her readers on edge, and deliver a story that will pull out every emotion possible. Writing on the edge of taboo and dark, Jettie hopes to distribute an adventure you'll not soon forget.
Married for twenty five years, raising two boys and one girl has left lots of writing material. She has recently become a grandma to not one, but two of the most beautiful little girls on planet earth.
Jettie also hates doing this bio. That's all you get. She loves to read and write. What else is there? <3
“You stitched up yourself?” I say, trying to grasp what I’ve just heard.
“No, an ER nurse teleported to Big Bear to double-stitch this shit,” he says, taking me in his arms.
“You might have lost a lot of blood,” I say, “but I see you still have that same old lovely attitude.”
“I need it to survive you,” he says with a wink. He’s so fucking hot when he’s injured and being a prick. I mean, really. Totally. Fucking. Edible.
“I need to clean and re-bandage this before I get in the shower,” he says. “Don’t worry, Tris, it’ll leave a scar but won’t cause any permanent damage.”
“Is this your professional opinion?” I say, suddenly upset with him for having been so reckless all his adult life.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” he says. “Seen my share of warzone stitch-ups.”
I’m not sure he realizes these things are not common to most people. If he weren’t hurt already, I’d smack him in the head.
“I have a million questions, Tanner,” I tell him, kissing his pecs. “But I don’t want to press. You’ve been through a lot.”
He laughs. “A lot, huh?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Never mind that,” he says. “I only have one question.”
“Just one? That’s a big number for you. What is it?”
“Is my hearing working? Did I hear you tell your father you love me?”
USA Today Bestselling author Alison Foster loves reading a good love story almost as much as she loves writing one. She spends her time dreaming up strong heroes and even stronger heroines and she enjoys finding unexpected strengths within her characters when they are in the most unexpected places.
She believes that passion makes the world go round and that a sexy grin is as sweet as candy.
She loves interacting with readers, so feel free to drop her a line.