Writing is my life. Life is my hobby. ~Emma Lai

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mother of an Extraordinary Child

First off, let me say I think all children are extraordinary. How can they not be? They're learning everything for the first time, fresh explorers of a world old and familiar to us adults. How can that not be exciting to be around?

I haven't shared much about my boy here on my blog, though I've posted things about his school year on Facebook. So, to catch everyone up, I've got an almost five year old who's been in PPCD, or Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities, for over a year now, since he was a little more than three and a half.

As an infant and toddler, he always showed preference for me and a select few people. He didn't care to explore his world the same way a lot of children his age did, but he did have a knack for electronics and knew his ABCs by 18 months and how to count by 2. However, he didn't speak much, and by the time he was three he'd started having behavioral issues because of an inability to communicate with us about his needs and wants. Mommy could no longer read his mind and Daddy had never been able to.

There's a wonderful program for infant and toddlers called ECI, or Early Childhood Intervention, which is a state and federally funded program available in many (if not all) states. There's testing that has to get done, but by the time his inability to speak was starting to become an issue, he didn't qualify for that program because he wasn't far enough behind--it's a kind of graduated scale, so honestly, the earlier you try to get intervention, the better--so we had to wait a few months to test for PPCD.

Now, I am opposed to labeling children. I don't believe in girl toys and boy toys. I'm not a fan of saying my child is in a program for disabled children because he's more than able, but if not for society's penchant for trying to fit everything in a box, he wouldn't be getting the assistance he needed because we wouldn't have been able to afford the individual attention he gets in this program. Officially, he's been labeled as in the autism spectrum, though off the record the psychologist told us he was just extremely introverted. However to get him the help he needed, a label had to be slapped on to the form.

This past year has been extraordinary. Within weeks of starting school, the teachers had given him the tools he needed to start communicating. Within months, almost all his behavioral problems (aside from those every toddler and preschool age child has), had disappeared. And now, though he still has enunciation problems and is extremely introverted (and will no doubt always be since both my husband and I are), he has full conversations with my husband and I. My current favorite sentence of his is, "I've been knowing that." And yes, my precious son, has indeed been knowing all kinds of things even though he's just now able to articulate what exactly he's been knowing.

This summer he's in summer school again, to reinforce the skills he's learned to date, and in the coming school year, we'll be focused on getting him ready for kindergarten in a year. I'll admit I'm nervous. I worry about bullying. I was bullied well into high school, while my husband was so introverted he's not sure if he was ever bullied. I'm hoping my son is never bullied or if he is, he's like his dad and doesn't realize it. But all we can do is provide him the skills he needs to face the challenges of each day ahead.

So to everyone with an extraordinary child, I want to say, find whatever support or help you need, whether you're a parent of a child who's marching to the beat of the same drum as most other kids or one who marches to his/her/their own beat. We all have concerns and worries, good days and bad. Most parents understand where you're coming from and even if you don't want to talk to people you know, you'd be surprised how many parents post their honest thoughts about their daily trials and tribulations online. And on the good days, give your child a hug and yourself a smile. On the bad days, give yourself permission to take a time out, remind yourself you're human and that your child/children is/are new to this world and experiences and may not understand the why/how for the first twenty-two times. Then give him/her/them a hug for refreshing your view of the world.

And if you ever need an ear, I can normally be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/emmalaiwrites.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cover Reveal - Meilin and The Challenger by Cate Masters

Meilin and The Challenger
Futuristic urban fantasy/fairy tale
73 pages
April 11, 2014 from
Musa Publishing: http://musapublishing.com/

Meilin King has never believed in fairy tales. Happy ever afters might have happened in the old days—before zombies. But this is 2089. When her father promises riches to the one who can rid their city of zombies, Meilin and her sisters rush to develop a solution that won’t bankrupt Dad.
The war overseas left Will MacGregor disillusioned, but fighting zombies at home is a cause he can embrace. Meilin’s another. Tough but sweet, she might make him believe in life again, and maybe even love, if she doesn’t kick his ass first.
When zombies kidnap her family, Meilin must rescue them. But can she and Will save them from the worst fate of all?

A click sounded beside him. Meilin propped a rifle to her shoulder and sighted her aim toward the advancing zombies. “Let’s annihilate the party crashers, sisters.”
A lopsided smile quirked his lips. “Not all the party crashers, I hope.”
Her stance steady, she glanced over. “I might spare you.”
Oh hell, I’m in love. Gunfire erupted on either side, but he couldn’t tear his focus from her. Amazing, how she braced against the kick of the rifle—her slight frame absorbed it and she fired away. Like you should be doing.
As trained, he lifted the Uzi. Stunned, he could only watch as the girls split the zombies’ heads with one shot apiece, the most efficient kill he’d ever witnessed. The zombies at the front of the charge fell first. Those in the center scattered to either side. Hell, these women didn’t need his help. If only the soldiers in his platoon had been so deadly accurate.
Better at least try to be helpful. He let the bullets fly. Too bad the walking dead couldn’t run; soon they dropped to the forest floor with the others.
The tallest blonde held a strange set of binoculars to her face. “There, two more getting away.”
Hard to sight them in the dark. He swiveled one of the dance floor spotlights in their direction. Momentarily blinded, the walking dead stopped walking. Meilin and the tall blonde aimed, and their shots cracked the zombies’ heads in two.
Meilin tapped his shoulder. “Aim the light to three o’clock. I think I see a few more.”
She stood so close, he grew woozy. Cherry blossoms. He struggled to fight off her intoxicating scent. He did as she asked, but his acute awareness centered on her. Built the way he liked, petite but powerful. She moved with purpose and grace, surety and intense focus in every action. Like the others, she felled the three zombies with one shot each, in exactly the spot needed for the final kill: their heads. Oh yeah, a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it, a force to be reckoned with.
She rested the rifle butt against her hip. “What do you think, Lakshme? More hiding out there?”
The girl with almond eyes shrugged. “Probably.”
Yeah, most likely. Better make sure. “I’ll do a sweep and check.”
The tallest blonde winced. “By yourself?”
Lakshme smirked. “Aren’t we lucky? Superman’s here.”
Meilin’s gaze swept over him. “Oh, I thought he was the Green Hornet.”
The blonde’s lip curled. “Horn dog, more like.”
What the hell was their problem? “Hey, I’m only trying to help.”
“Good thing.” Lakshme’s voice turned breathy. “We’re helpless girls, after all.”
Oh, man. Great first impression. “No, I didn’t—”
Meilin raised her rifle and shot three times in quick succession. “Three more down. Now we need to find out how many we missed.”
A no-nonsense babe. Excellent.
The tall blonde jumped to the ground. “Pull up the truck so we can dump the bodies. Wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for any latecomers.” She flashed a sardonic smile and headed for the nearest carcass.
One sister disappeared into the brush. An engine roared, and a delivery truck backed into the site, halted, and the doors flew open.
Once they’d loaded the last of the zombie bodies, Will blew out a breath. The tall blonde latched the door closed. How did they all still appear ready freshly showered and ready for a night of dancing? They had this routine down, to the last detail.
“What now?” he asked.
The tall blonde poked a finger into his chest. “Now you forget everything you saw here, and we won’t have to incinerate you with the rest of them.”
Forget? He glanced at Meilin. Not happening. “You might find me useful. And I want to learn more about your operation. It’s impressive. Mr. King’s looking to hire—”
The blonde grabbed his shirt, her grimace eye level with him. “Don’t ever mention him again.”
Not speak of their father? He studied Meilin for a clue.
She wrenched the blonde’s arm. “Back off, Zoe. He’s harmless.”
Zoe shoved Meilin, who stumbled backward and lost her balance.
Landing on her butt, she looked up at Will with sadness. “Sorry.”
His heart lurched. Hopefully, not sorry she met him. “For what?”
A hard thud to the back of his head came in answer. His knees hit the dance floor, and he toppled over.

Book video

Embed code:
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1B_1Ahmy-sc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

About Cate
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company.
Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Catch up to Cate
Twitter:  @CateMasters

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Fever with Rebecca Poole, author of Warrior Goddess in Rise of the Goddess anthology

March heralds in Spring and its air of possibilities, rebirth, and fresh dreams.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?
I love when the flowers and trees start blooming.  I live in Georgia, and we have lovely dogwood and magnolia trees.

What’s a must-have for Spring?
Chap stick and moisturizer.  The season change over makes for some really dry skin for me, and chap stick and moisturizer are necessities. 

Spring cleaning. A must or a bust?
It’s a must for us.  I’m a pack rat and after a while, even I get tired of clutter.  We’ve actually started doing ‘Spring Cleaning’ once a month so that it isn’t so overwhelming.

Where do you like to write during the season?
I love to sit under the trees and listen to nature. 

Any fun trips planned?
Unfortunately, not right now, but soon.  Oh very soon…I’m trying to talk the husband into a trip to Disney World.  Or Washington DC.  I’d love to see the cherry trees in bloom.

The Goddess: a female deity who represents strength, love, dignity, sexuality, motherhood, wrath, peace, the elements, and so much more. She is the symbol of every woman who has ever been or will ever come to be. She comes from a myriad of places and beliefs, her image always changing, but her presence always there. In this collection of fourteen beautifully written stories and three lovely original artworks, the Goddess rises in many unique forms to remind the world of the strength and beauty that is woman and the connection she has with all things.


Stories Include:
Warrior Goddess ….. Rebecca Poole
Down came the Queen of Heaven ….. Aubrey Diamant
Bia ….. Samantha Ketteman
Carmaterdea ….. Sinead MacDughlas
Goddess of My Heart ….. Michael Cross
Her ….. Rebecca Poole
A Goddess’s Revenge ….. Catherine Stovall
Love, Lust, Beauty ….. Jackie McMahon
Hunting the Dark ….. Marion C. Lanier
Mother of Monsters ….. Andrea L. Staum
Goddess Touched ….. Elizabeth L. Lance
The Cast Iron Skillet ….. Shebat Legion
The Weaver ….. Zoe Adams
Shield of Light ….. Beth W. Patterson
Beautiful Secrets of the Sea ….. Jackie McMahon
Vanquish ….. Mariana Thorn
Falling For You ….. Cecilia Clark 
Cover design by Dave J. Ford

****All proceeds from the Rise of the Goddess anthology will go to benefit the Elliott Public Library****

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Fever with Kellie Kamryn, author of Pleasure Island (with Giveaway)

March heralds in Spring and its air of possibilities, rebirth, and fresh dreams.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?
The snow melting!! We’ve had a lot of snowfall here this year, and despite slushy roads and dirty vehicles, I love the warmer temperatures and green grass poking through the white stuff.

What’s a must-have for Spring?
A barbecue! I love breaking out the barbecue and grilling something. You can always tell around here when it’s warm enough because you can smell all the neighbours cooking!

Spring cleaning. A must or a bust?
I don’t specifically clean in the spring – unless the spirit moves me. So, it might be spring, summer, fall….

Where do you like to write during the season?
I always write at the same place – my PC. I used to try to write outside with a laptop but prefer to block off time inside and then just enjoy the outdoors – whether it’s gardening or playing with the kiddies J

Any fun trips planned?
We always plan day trips to the beach but so far, nothing for a significant block of time. That could change tho!

My newest release is Pleasure Island, available in ebook and audio.
Visit with me at my website: www.kelliekamryn.com

One lucky commenter will win a small prize pack of Kahlua chocolates and some other author swag!

Chelsea Hunter didn’t come to the resort looking for sex. Jake Davis intends to change her mind. Will they be able to turn up the heat, or will their visit to Pleasure Island leave them cold?

After finalizing her divorce, Chelsea Hunter came to the resort island of Paradise for some peace and quiet so she could figure out what her next step would be. She hadn’t expected to find herself at an exotic hotel dedicated to pleasures of the flesh. Too bad she doesn’t want sex.

Jake Davis is back in Paradise after visiting a year ago when his own marriage fell apart. This time his fantasy is to guide a woman through her sexual journey. He hadn’t counted on being paired with the only woman in Paradise who prefers privacy over pleasure! Will Jake be able to discover what Chelsea truly needs, or will their journey to Paradise remain unfulfilled?
She didn’t know what to say. The man standing before her had just announced his fantasy of seeing to her every sexual need. A dream come true or a nightmare? She hadn’t been with anyone in over a year. Panic set in. Fantasizing was one thing, but the thought of actually being naked with someone—terrifying. She liked her body, but it was far from perfect.
When she didn’t respond, he strode to the dresser. Chelsea followed and peeked inside when he opened the top drawer. Her cheeks burned with heat, but her pussy reacted with a fierce throbbing. Inside were various personal pleasure devices of all shapes and sizes. She closed the drawer with a snap, nearly catching his fingers.
He raised an eyebrow at her, and opened it again. “For when you don’t need me.”
Reacting like a cornered animal, she snapped at him again. “Well, I don’t need you, and I don’t think I’ll need those either.”
“Chelsea…”  He took hold of her shoulders and pressed his hard body into her backside, nestling his erection between her ass cheeks. Her heart rate and breathing quickened, and she gasped. Holy fuck. Her knees buckled, but he held her up. And what a nice body to be held up against. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad…
His deep voice rumbled in her ear as his hands slid down her arms, his fingertips brushing against the back of her hands. “There’s nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality.”
 “I didn’t say there was.” A shiver ran through her, and her voice came out a breathy rasp. “But I didn’t come here for sex.”
“It’s yours for the taking.” His lips brushed the side of her neck, and she melted into him as he palmed her belly. God, it felt good to have a man’s hands on her even if there was a layer of fabric between them. Hot, insistent hands that knew what they were doing. The only thing she focused on was the sensation of his palms sliding up her belly to cup her breasts. She whimpered. It had been too long without a man’s touch, and she was a touchy-feely person.
“This doesn’t feel so bad, does it?”
“No, it doesn’t.” Her whispered words could barely be heard.
“If you want me to stop—all you have to say is no. My job isn’t to force you into anything. Only to give you pleasure.” His fingertips glided down her abdomen again, and made their way down to the top of her thighs, gathering up her skirt.
“B-but you don’t work here.”
He smiled against her neck. “Use your imagination, honey. I’m here to give you what you need. No strings. No commitment. Only as much satisfaction as you can handle. Why not go for it?”
One finger toyed with her clit through her underwear. Her eyes rolled back in her head, and he nipped her earlobe. “Tell me to stop now. Because I can feel your heat and I want to experience it.”
She meant to stop him, gather her wits to think clearly, but when he rubbed the heel of his hand into her mound, she groaned, wriggling back into his erection. “Don’t stop.”