Today I am thankful for my work as an author. It was a lifelong dream of mine to write books. I started writing when I was 16, but I was writing short stories and poetry long before then. I submitted my first manuscript at 19, but was rejected. I continued writing, but threw most of those typewritten manuscripts away. In 2012 I published my first draft of The Fine Line. It was terrible. However, when I was picked up by a publisher, it was worth it. Winning my independence as an author was even more rewarding. I still love writing. I have many books in my head as well as on my flash drive. I will get to those eventually. Writing has helped me deal with disappointment, but it also allowed me to put my education into practice. I may not be a best seller, and I may never be, but it’s important to pat yourself on the back when you reach personal milestones. So, today I am thankful for this accomplished dream.
I am almost finished with my new novel. To celebrate, I’m offering my very first novel for FREE! For those of you that prefer using Amazon, just send a price match request to an Amazon admin. Otherwise, you can download it for free from Smashwords.
Olivia felt comfortable enough with Lauren to explain about her past. She spoke of her abuse growing up, how wonderful her parents were, her siblings, the darkness she lived through, and her near death experience.
“Besides my friend Sarah,” Olivia said, “the instant connect with you gives me confidence that there are still people out there that can accept me.”
“Daniel accepts you.”
“He is a good partner and a good friend.”
“Does he know what you can do?”
“No. I can’t tell him. It’s too soon, and he’ll probably ask for me to be transferred to the psych unit at OSU,” she said with a smile.
“You’d be surprised at what a man can accept when he cares about you. Nick surprised me.”
“But you were in love.”
“We weren’t always. I hated him when I first met him. He was annoying and brash and pompous. He didn’t like me very much either, but we connected when we let those walls fall. You still have them built up quite high.”
“They keep me safe, I guess. And they keep Amelia safe.”
“Someday, you’ll have to lower those walls, you know. Take it from someone who knows firsthand.”
“I’m not sure I know how to.”
“You will when the right person comes along. You have to be brave enough to let someone behind that wall. Then you have to be braver still to let them take each brick in the wall down, seeing exactly who you are.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “I don’t know if I can ever do that, Lauren.”
“I believe you can and you will. I think you’ll do great things and I think you’ll find someone to share in those things with you.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Fenton. Truly I am. I believe that you didn’t mean to do this.”
He shook his head. “I didn’t. I never wanted this to happen.”
Gene left the room and entered the interrogation room. He cuffed him, then took him out of the room.
Lauren continued sitting at the table staring at the corner. Nick walked in and sat down across from her.
“We’ve been at him for hours. You come in here and in less than fifteen minutes you get a full confession. What the hell is that about?”
“Are you angry with me?” she asked.
“Not at all, I just want to know how you do it.”
“I don’t yell at anyone, first off.”
“I didn’t yell.”
“Yes, you did. I know you and you yelled at that man.”
“He killed his wife!” he shouted.
“See, you’re yelling at me!” Lauren said as she stood up.
Nick shrugged. “I don’t yell…”
“Nick, you have to be able to relate to the accused. This man accidentally killed his wife. He didn’t premeditate anything.”
“Killing is killing.”
“No it isn’t. When you’ve got someone like this man and compare him to The Phantom, well there really is no comparison.”
Nick paced. “I just keep thinking of these three kids. They’re never going to see their mother again.”
“I understand how they feel. You can’t let that cloud your vision though.”
“I know you understand,” he said with a nod. “We still on for tonight?”
“Of course we are. It’s New Year’s Eve. I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with you.”
As he looked at Lauren, he realized just how much he cared about her. He wanted to kiss her, but knew that it wasn’t the time or the place. So, he touched her hand gently and promised to pick her up at eight.
If you keep up with my blog, you’ll notice a couple of new pages. My blog will serve as my main website. My domain name will be expiring soon and I’ve decided not to renew it. So, my wordpress blog will serve as my website. I added information about my book, my fan club, and my PA. This will be my go-to address for future endeavors.
I am relaying this information to all of my blog followers. Andrew Joyce’s novel, MOLLY LEE will be on sale for $0.99 until September 27th. Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
Click the banner above to go directly to the Amazon page.
Happy Sunday folks! I am posting to make a brief announcement. Readers seem to like Work in Progress Wednesdays, but I have decided to narrow it down to once a month. The next post will come out in September. The third Wednesday of each month will feature a new character from either a published novel or a novel in progress.
I must tell you something though…
The reason I am spacing these out is because I finally landed my dream job and I will need time to fulfill my new responsibilities. I have been searching for four long years to get a college teaching job. Well, it happened on August 1st and it happened in the most unplanned, extraordinary way.
On Thursday night, July 31st, I got a message on Facebook from my best friend. He moved back up to this neck of the woods on July 30th. He checked in to let me know he’d made it safely. I knew he was putting his application in at the college we’d both received our undergrad degrees from.
Jayme Ronan has always wanted to teach college and is currently working on his doctorate. He told me that the secretary of English/Humanities told him to drop off his application as soon as he got into town. He did so on the 31st and was hired on the spot. He told me that they needed people and recommended that I call the department. I was hesitant given my experiences in the workforce. Honestly, I lacked the confidence to even reach out, but I couldn’t get the possibility out of my mind.
The next morning, still thinking about all of it, I called the secretary and left a message not anticipating that I would ever hear back from her. In fact, I didn’t really care either way. I went on with my daily routine; did my 3 mile walk/run, came back home, and got cleaned up. My phone rang at around 11 a.m. It was the secretary and she immediately patched me through to the professor in charge of hiring. I was asked if I could come down that day for an interview. I thought, “What?” I agreed to go to the interview.
As I spoke to the two interviewers, I brought up my books occasionally because, quite honestly, I thought, “I’m an author. If you can’t accept that, then I don’t need to be here.” Post April 2014, anytime I interviewed for a job, I tried to hide the fact that I write books. Being an author had drummed up so much controversy in my previous political job that I felt it was best not to share that about myself. This time, I didn’t care. My feeling was the employer would either accept it or not. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to change who I was to suit anyone’s private agenda.
One of the administrators knew who I was just from a review that one of her students had written about one of my books. She even commented about how excited the student was to finally meet me during the Spring Author Expo at the local library. So, it occurred to me that despite the fact that I was an author, these women were open to talking to me and quite interested in my work as a writer. In fact, I realized that these women, the one professor in particular, invited me to come down for an interview BECAUSE of my books.
I was hired on the spot. When I walked out of the interview my best friend was standing talking to the secretary. The smile on his face was priceless. It is a feeling I will never forget. I think I had wings on my feet because I know I was walking on air.
I was sent to HR to fill out my paperwork. In the elevator, Jayme and I hugged each other and I don’t think you could have chiseled the smiles from our faces. I was still in shock. Both of us were. We remarked that we simply couldn’t believe it was finally happening and better yet, that we would be experiencing this together; best friends since the second grade and now we were back together again.
Time and time again we had talked about teaching college and dreamed about being able to do so together. Finally, here we were embracing our dreams hand in hand. It was more than either of us could have hoped for. In fact, I couldn’t totally wrap my head around it. I kept thinking it wasn’t going to work out, but when I got the call to come and get my text books, I knew it was a done deal.
Although there has been some switching around, I finally have my class assignment. I will be teaching an argumentative composition class in the fall. I also learned that my son’s principal is also teaching at the college. So, not only is my best friend in on the deal, but the administrator of my son’s school is, too. It is almost too hard to believe. All three of us will be making this first year journey together.
Don’t doubt that when things fall into place, they fall fast. Sometimes it takes a great deal of patience and time leading up to that point, but when the time is right it feels like things happen in a matter of seconds. All of the tears I’ve cried. All of the nights I have been awake wondering how things would turn out. All of the heartbreak I went through in 2014. I could go on and on, but the sun finally started shining and it has been getting progressively brighter. Who would have thought that I would be where I am right now? Certainly not me. The fact that I’m and author and have published three books helped get me the job. I also have to give credit to the Higher Power that guides my life. I took a shot and listened to that guiding voice before I made the phone call. Even though that familiar whisper said, “You’ve got this,” I couldn’t quite believe it. It was my own doubt that held me back, but I was held back for a reason. This was the reason. This job was the reason.
Always be proud of who you are and, most of all, your accomplishments. Don’t hide them in the shadows. There’s a difference between being boastful and proud. Take time to thank your guiding force and give credit where it’s due. That DREAM BIG concept really does work. Dare to do it and will might be surprised what will happen.
(Published March 2015, Ozwind Publishing LLC; formerly IDOLUM, winner of the Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2013’s reviewers choice award)
*all photos have been modified to satisfy copyright restrictions*
Dr. Lauren Harris grew up in a quiet lake community. As the daughter of prominent prosecuting attorney, Jason Harris, and the granddaughter of the county’s judge, she was naturally heir to a fortune. All of her family were involved in the legal system either as lawyers or paralegals. They were pillars of the community and everyone had a great deal of respect for the Harris family. Her mother, Beth, a simple elementary school teacher, nevertheless, served as the role model she looked to for guidance and understanding when she discovered she wasn’t like other children.
Lauren discovered at a very young age that she had a gift and she didn’t understand it. She could see the dead and communicate with them. Her first experience took place at a local park as she interacted with a young boy who had been murdered and buried under the marry-go-round. Beth and Lauren kept this secret and when Beth died, she took the secret with her, but not before sharing it with her mother-in-law Annie.
Lauren was raised by her Aunt Ingrid and Uncle Jim after her parents were viciously murdered. Her newly adopted siblings, Josh, Lucas, and Chelsey, took her in graciously and tried to comfort her after such a devastating loss. Lauren instinctively withdrew, focusing all of her efforts on scholastic acheivements. With a brilliant mind and a genius IQ, it was a simple task. She didn’t have much of a social life, much to Chelsey’s dismay. Although her free-spirited cousin was younger than her, Chelsey tried to drag Lauren to various social events. Sometimes, she’d participate, but for the most part, she stayed to herself, reading and studying.
When Lauren graduated from high school, she moved to the dorms in Columbus at Ohio State University. She majored in psychology and then went to Harvard where she furthered studies in psychology. Then she tackled the University of Nebraska’s criminology program earning yet another graduate degree. Finally, she found herself longing to be closer to home, and relocated back to her quiet hometown and completed her doctorate in psychology at Wright State.
During her doctoral studies, her grandfather and uncle invited her to help with jury selection. She gladly accepted and this opened her up to entirely new realization. She could help solve cases, so she sought a job with the State Police and local jurisdictions. She proved to be extremely valuable and began solving cold cases that had been on the shelf for decades. Not only did she use her education, but she used her paranormal gift to put the pieces together and no one was the wiser. Still, she made sure her education trumped her personal skills. Still, she prided herself in the use of science and statistical probability to formulate a criminal profile.
Eventually and shockingly, she became a therapist at a local mental health institute. Her social awkwardness didn’t hold her back from providing help to those in need. She also became nationally recognized for her talents in solving crimes and was offered a teaching position at Wright State as well as public speaking opportunities all over the world.
Lauren also taught women’s self defense and continued work with the police. Her exceptional skills for solving crimes ultimately put her on the FBI’s radar and she began consulting for them. Their behavioral sciences unit took to her quickly. This lead her to the case that would ultimately change the course of her life.
The Phantom was a special kind of horror. The serial killer was burying his victims alive, leaving no chance for them to be found and saved. Naturally, Lauren poured herself into solving the active case. She was teamed with Special Agent and Director-in-Training, Nicholas Bennette. He was an annoying sort with that typical pompous attitude she’d grown to know while helping in the bureau. She never dreamed that line between respect and hate would become blurred between them.
The Phantom case sucked her in, drawing her deeper into the abyss than she ever anticipated. It began testing her personal boundaries and every fiber of who she thought she was. It taught her some valuable, hard lessons. But, there were many times when she wondered if she would ever solve the crimes. When she finally realizes she has, she quickly discovers that it’s much too late. All of the things in her life are now undone and she has not control to change it. She finds that she is forced to do something she has failed at time and time again: trusting people outside herself. She has no choice. She’s powerless and must rely on her friends and family to pull her out of the darkness, into the light.
For a limited time…
Olivia Gregory is all grown up and, sadly, has lost her way. Her destiny has been wrought with chaos, but she finally makes sense of it all, working through all of the darkness inside of her. Olivia’s journey brings her to a field in Central Ohio and to the body of a dead girl. She must dig deep within herself to find the answers and she must rely on her partnership with Daniel Knight to fit all of the pieces together to solve the case of the Tic-Tac-Toe Killer.