Hiking

One of the things I have found a new love for is hiking! When I say hiking, I mean a few to multiple miles walk through the woods, on a trail, preferably with a general notion of direction. As long as I end up back at my car eventually, I’m good!

We’ve hiked a total of three times since Memorial Day, so I’m definitely no pro, but there’s something peaceful to be found in the tranquility of nature. I swear I could walk for days in the woods filled with green or through an open field with bright blue skies above.

Our hikes haven’t been very long in distance, but we are building up to it. Even our daughter is getting into it! We did about two miles with her over the past weekend, and I think she likes it too! She was so excited to see a bridge over a river. It was the cutest thing!

We also bought water backpacks for our trips. Even one for our four year old. She loves carrying hers and drinking it out of the tube like mommy and daddy. We are hoping to make an afternoon of it one day and have a picnic, but we’re building to that. She’s still building her stamina to go longer than two miles in an hour..

Overall, hiking for us works. There is hardly any logistics or equipment to think of and remember. We just fill out water tanks and go! Bugs are a problem for my daughter (OK, for me too), but that’s why there is bug repellent right? I’m just excited to do something as a family that doesn’t require a whole lot of extra effort and towing additional equipment. On to the next hike!

Space Travel Frequent Flyer Miles

When you just want to get away, what’s the farthest place you can think of?

I bet you didn’t think of Mars!

That’s right. That tiny red planet just behind us in this solar system is your next go to destination! Venture to Jezero Crater next summer with me, and be the first martians on the planet. I’ve got my boarding pass, and more frequent flyer miles than I’ll ever know what to do with. Are you ready for an interstellar journey?

OK, in all seriousness, just my name is going to Mars, but how amazing would it be to venture to another planet as easily as signing up on a website to go? Talk about a vacation! Almost a year in space travel? Wow!

On NASAs website, you can sign up to add your name to a microchip that will be included on the Atlas V-541 Rocket that will land a Rover on Mars! Part of this Rover’s mission is to not only investigate the planet, but determine if human exploration is possible. What a time to be alive!

Sign you and your family up at the included link, and enjoy the discussion of space exploration!

Travel Agent Best Friend Wanted

Anyone know a good travel agent that is currently accepting applications for a best friend?

I’m dying to travel! I want to go on a cruise, take my daughter to Disney, go to Las Vegas, New York, and New Orleans, but I really hate planning it. Trying to find the best deal is not my thing. I seriously want to just have someone search for cost effective travel and book it for me, and tell me where I need to go, so I can just go.

In some sense, I think I’m using it as an excuse not to go. Like, if I keep waiting for the perfect time, the perfect price, the perfect deal, then I’ll book it, but here we are months later, and I still have yet to pull the trigger. I’m not afraid to travel, and man, do I want to. I’m really not sure why I haven’t done it!

So I again I ask, any travel agents need a best friend? I’ll swap a copy of my newest release on pre-order for your services!

Birthright Cover Reveal – Touched by Light series

You learned Riley’s secrets. You worried and strategized with Rey. You were introduced to the world of Guardians filled with Light and the darkness of Midnight’s shadows. You read Guardians, book one in the trilogy of Riley and Rey’s story, but this series is just starting.

I now introduce you to Birthright. Pre-order your copy today!

Riley has always known darkness and shadows were part of her world, but she hoped moving to a new town had taken her away from them. Her first semester at Bradford University is winding down. The race to save her soul is ratcheting up. Riley clings to the one person she hopes can keep her safe, but it is time she faced the truth. Her entire life has been leading up to her nineteenth birthday, a day her supposed Aunt had secretly prepared her for since childhood. With her past revealed and her fate seemingly sealed, Riley must make a decision that could very well end her life.

Reymend has lived two hundred years without breaking a single rule of the Guardianship, but the moment he met Riley, everything changed. He interjected himself into her life. He touched her delicate skin more times than he can admit, giving her glimpses into a world she knows nothing about. But, the one rule Rey swore he wouldn’t break may be the only way to save his Charge. When the greatest evil ever known comes to collect Riley’s soul, Rey has to face a decision no Guardian has ever had to make.

Repost: What is a Guardian?

Welcome to the Touched by Light series ! Here you will find a quick look into the world Reymend lives as a Guardian. It’s hidden within Riley’s mortal day-to-day, but of all other mortals, she has glimpsed it the most. So, what is a Guardian?

Guardians are immortal beings who have been fated to join the Guardianship. The Council of the Wise is made up of twelve of the oldest Birthright Guardians, meaning they were not born from mortals, but from previous Wise Council members. A Touched soul means the Light within someone is brighter, stronger, more likely to withstand the temptations of Midnight. The Wise determines a Touched soul’s fate at age nineteen. If you are meant to be a Guardian, you are granted immortal life and given Charges (Touched souls, typically mortals) to protect against Midnight’s bidders. If you’re destined for anything else, you are left as a mortal to live out your life.

We’ll get to “What is Light and Midnight?” in my next post. Hang in there! For now, enjoy this excerpt of Reymend’s inner dialogue over the course of a chapter explaining from his memories what it is to be a Guardian, and why having Riley as his next Charge is the most defining Guardship he has ever had.

Birthright, A Touched By Light Series, Book 2 of 3 – Release Date April 2019

Rey hadn’t thought that far back in years to when he and Phelix had been young men, barely over nineteen years old. Two of the twelve members of the Wise Council of the Light had offered them immortal life as Guardians. If they accepted, their lives were to be dedicated to protecting those Touched by Light from the darkness of Midnight. Even though the significance of it all flew over their teenage heads, after living their entire lives as vagrants on the streets of a New York ghetto, it had been an easy decision.

He hadn’t flat out lied to Riley when he said he was an orphan. He and Phelix had been when they were kids, but having been in the system was pushing it. They had lived off what others threw out in the streets or what they could beg for, but back then, that was the system for parentless children. Castaways, left to fend for themselves.

They had met Amber, Phelix’s girlfriend, in their early years of immortality during training, but her life had been completely opposite to theirs. She had known the ways of the Light at an early age before her fate had even been determined. Her entire bloodline could be traced back to Guardians and the Wise Council. As a Birthright Guardian, her conception was a carefully mastered plan to keep purity on the Council. Although, some would argue that plan was failing or had failed already.

The three of them had been through hell and back more than their fair share, facing demons of Midnight when no one else could. They weren’t the strongest singular Guardians by any means, but together, their Light always shone brightest against the darkness. Together, they were undefeated, but in their line of work, defeat wasn’t an option.

The three Guardians had left Baltimore two years ago after their Charges had reached the age to be fated. It had been the first time in their almost two hundred years together that they had been separated. Phelix had gone to Richmond for a Charge until she reached nineteen years old, and the Wise fated her for the Guardianship. Amber had two Charges turn nineteen, one in Atlanta and the other in Columbus, but both of the guys destinies were decided to remain mortal, leaving their Light dormant within their souls. Rey hadn’t had a Charge since Baltimore, so he moved to Bradford for the hub of darkness found at the small town’s edge. There was always something to do in the quiet town for a Guardian.

Phelix and Amber showed up over the summer since the Wise hadn’t designated new Charges for them either. The Wise had always seemed to find them individual Charges within the same vicinity as each other, clearly understanding the strength they shared between them, but after their two year stretch apart, Rey knew things were changing.

They posed as students at the University to keep up appearance and be poised in case their new Charges were students in town. There was also a bit of competition amongst them to keep their minds sharp and see who could have the highest grades, but it all boiled down to being ready when a Charge was granted.

Rules.

Light.

Dark.

They had been Rey’s world for so long. Now he bent and outright broke so many, using his Light in ways he shouldn’t to beat out the dark invading his Charge’s life.

The number one rule of the Guardianship was to never become involved in the Charge’s life. Protect them at all cost, but never be seen. A Guardian was to use their Light in the fight against the shadows of Midnight, but never shine it in the direction of the Charge. After years of servicing mortals, Guardians had earned the nickname of Guardian Angels, but Rey knew he was far from angelic, especially now.

Number two: never, ever touch a Charge. Those Touched by Light could transfer energies, memories, and even thoughts through their Light just by brushing up against each other. It took a Guardian years of training to harness their Light and learn to channel it through the transference of randomness and into a true Connection. It was the very thing that had kept him, Phelix, and Amber alive for so long through all of their battles over the centuries. Their Connection to each other flowed easily, allowing them to communicate and act as one seamlessly in battle.

And, number three: without exception, do not sway a Charge’s fate by Connecting with their Light before the Council so determines the Charge’s destiny. After a Charge turned nineteen, the Wise would determine whether the Touched soul would be given the choice to become a Guardian or remain a mortal, or if their fate was meant for the darkness. No one in the long history of the Light had ever Connected with a Charge outside of the realm of the Council of the Wise.

It was the simplest of rules to follow. Rules Rey had never had issues with in over two hundred years, but now, with Riley as his designated Charge, he had broken all but one so far.

When had his immortal life become so filled with gray?

The first twelve Touched souls composed what is now known as the Council of the Wise. They gathered as many more Guardians they could, Connecting with mortals who held stronger Light, and pushed what they began to call Midnight and its darkness as far from this universe as possible.

As millennia have passed, the Wise Council’s duty had become to determine a Touched soul’s fate, to Connect with those souls and keep the balance between Light and dark, and to keep the rules of the Light by sending Guardians to enforce them on any darkness that made its way onto the plane. The Guardians had become the first defense in the never ending war to keep the world from slipping into Midnight’s grasp while the Wise continued to reign on high.

It was Rey, Phelix, and Amber’s job to keep their Charges safe until the time the Wise determined their fate. They were to keep Midnight as far from their Charges as possible and defend the dormant Light within them. That was what Rey was doing.

Repost: Meet Riley!

1Riley has always been different. The entire town she grew up in reminds her every day just how different she is. She can’t wait for the day she can escape to a new town, a new school, and a new life. College is that chance, a new beginning, a new sunrise on the darkness that was her life.

This is Riley’s chance at a new beginning. Bradford University in southern Virginia is the fresh start far from home that she has always wanted, but no matter where she goes, the shadows will always follow. Her only reprieve as she starts her new life is the possibility of friends, something she never had back home, but it quickly becomes the silver lining in her darker days.

Riley may have been labeled the psycho in her high school, but this girl is strong. She’s carried the pain of her past for too long. Now is a time of beginnings. Making new friends and unleashing the woman she has always known she could be is easier said then done, until she meets Reymend.

Rey’s all warmth and light. A comforting, gorgeous man she hopes she won’t scare away when the darkness gets too close. She wants to hold on to him, but how can she hope for so much when she has only ever had so little?

Excerpt of Guardians: “I know what you’re thinking, but before you say anything just know that I’m going to do this. I’m making a life for myself here no matter what the cost. I have friends for the first time in my life. I wake up excited to see what the day will bring. I’m finally happy! Nothing will stop me from taking this chance. Not my episodes. Not the fear of what follows me everywhere I go. Nothing. I’m doing this because for once in my life, it’s my decision.”

This girl may face darkness every day, but she knows what she wants! She’s scared, but determined. Even though she knows the shadows wait for her around every corner, sending her into blackout fits of terror, she still pushes forward. She is a real heroine even if she doesn’t understand the darkness that follows her.

Birthright, A Touched By Light Series, Book 2 of 3 – Release Date April 2019

I need a vacation..

saulius-sutkus-403556For the love of everything that is holy, I need a freaking vacation!

I started a new job back in November, and while I have enjoyed the challenge, I haven’t had a real vacation in years! I need a break! My husband will say, but your new job gave you a week off at Christmas. Well, honey, that was only three days more than what you received, and in those three days, all I did was catch up on house work!

Side note: why does laundry never end!!

In all seriousness though, vacations are essential for working professionals. A work/life balance is great, but if you can’t unplug when you are home from all the stress then you really aren’t taking a break. Vacations are meant to unwind, to relieve your mind of the everyday weight, and rejuvenate your self.

I NEED TO GO ON VACATION! Groupon Getaways for the win! Now I just need May to hurry up and get here.

The New Year – Keeping it moving

This year, I’m not going to set any resolutions like I have in the past because most of them would remain the same. Not for lack of progress, but simply because I want to continue to build upon what I have accomplished thus far. I want to be healthier, to travel more than I already have, and write more. Those items haven’t changed from last year. What has changed is my perspective on those items.

Healthier is no longer this unobtainable goal that I quit trying for halfway through the year. It’s a constant effort for the rest of my life to work on my crazy eating habits and chocolate addiction. Every little step I take towards becoming healthier is a feat.

I’ve traveled to one new place this year, a mountain resort nearby for my daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t my favorite trip by far, but gladly, we were able to take a mini vacation to the beach with family over the summer to make up for it. I want to continue to travel and see new places, even if they are close to home.

Lastly, I want to write! But when don’t I? I have the sequel to Guardians going through the editing process for publishing sometime in Spring 2019, and the third installment set for completion sometime in late Summer 2019. I have other ideas to explore, blogs and articles to write. I just love doing it, so continue on I will.

So, these really aren’t resolutions anymore. They’ve kind of become my new way of being. I will carry on and build upon my accomplishments because it’s what I want out of life, not just one year in the midst of a century.

Insomniac Rambling – Love and Greed

To be enough for someone in a world full of greed is everything.

No! Just, no!

I saw this on Instagram as a poem someone wrote (not sure who posted it, can’t find it again), and I just need to say no. No, this is wrong. So wrong you can’t make enough U-turns to make it right. Just wrong!

I can see someone attempting to make the argument that maybe they are talking about love. Love is selfless. Love is about giving your all and then some to allow the person you have the feelings for to flourish with you. Love is the opposite of greed, therefore, to have found someone who wants to give you all of themselves is a gift not to be squandered. I get it. I dig it. You’re on the right track, but the first sentence in this post does not capture the idea of unselfish love.

The first sentence goes wrong the moment it assumes you weren’t enough for someone, anyone, in this world. You are always enough! It’s just up to the other person to see it, to know your value as much as you know your own worth.

Next, I read this sentence to say that your measurement in a person’s life is in your control. Again, this is wrong. It ties into the first part, but let me dig a little deeper. Greed is a terrible affliction. Nothing is ever enough. So, to say that you should be able to measure up to that amount of endless wanting, to be able to compete with the constant yearning, and possibly be greater than the desire for more in someone else is completely out of your control. Not only do you have to selflessly give yourself over to the one you love, but they in kind must also forget all pretenses and expectations in a world of over consumption and gluttony and share their selfless love, too.

Finally, to say that finding someone who may hold you higher than all other wants and needs is everything is horribly cheap. I would never want someone who wants me more than some goal or objective they may be trying to obtain. One day, those things they once ignored may suddenly float higher than your pedastool, and then your everything is now your barely something. Only when love holds it’s own category, it’s on permanent residence in two people’s lives will that love be everything.

Go to bed, Lindsay. I know. 🙂

Guardians – Book Tour Update!

Guardians Book Blog Tour brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours is in full swing! Next stop is Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read.

Come on over and see what exclusive bits you may find. I’ll keep you updated on all the stops throughout the tour.

Don’t forget to order your copy of Guardians today! 5 star ratings are rolling in! Vampires and werewolves could never face the shadows the Guardians battle everyday. Click here for more information.

Tour schedule

November 8 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
November 9 Ramblings of a Book Nerd
November 12 The Book Junkie Reads (Interview)
November 13 Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
November 13 T’s Stuff (Interview)
November 14 Supernatural Central (Interview)
November 14 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

HAPPY RELEASE PARTY!