Saturday, January 18, 2014

I'll always be...

On the inside of my right wrist, I have the word "trust" tattooed. On the other one, I have "breathe." I did this a couple years ago to remind myself to do the two things I have the most difficulty doing. 

It's rare that I am able to just take a deep breath and let things go. I think about them, roll them over in my head repeatedly, lose sleep over them and overanalyze everything to death. Also, I've realized that I don't breathe deeply. Like, at all. I have never measured, but I'm sure I only use about half the capacity of my lungs on any given day. I breathe very shallowly because my body is always tense. Always. Shoulders, arms, neck, chest. When my body is tense, I'm not able to breathe in like I should. You know when you're watching a scary or suspenseful movie and you take that sharp breath in and hold it? That's what I do all the time. I'm always on edge - waiting for the worst to happen. It's rare that it actually does, but that doesn't mean I'm not constantly anticipating it. It's made for a most stressful existence.

Trust, on the other hand, is the paradox. I don't have any problem trusting other people. Sometimes, I'd like to think I don't trust easily, but the problem is that I do. I believe what people tell me because I'm authentic and genuine. I don't approach life with dishonesty or manipulation, so I fool myself into thinking that others are just as honest and forthright as I am. Sadly, as time goes on, I'm finding out, they're not. Many people have agendas. I won't say all people because I'm not that cynical, but there are a lot of people out there who are only looking out for themselves. The worst part about this is that I'm more likely to trust someone who is manipulating me than I trust myself. I question my own instincts and judgment ALL the time - what to have for dinner, what I should wear, how I should wear my hair. I'm always asking for people's input on things that I shouldn't have any problem choosing for myself. I mean, I'm a smart woman. More intelligent, actually, than most people realize. But I don't trust myself to make the right choices - not when it comes to simple stuff and most definitely not when it comes to big things.

I'm learning that I need to start breathing deeper and trusting myself. I'll probably always have to be reminded to take a deep breath; I don't know how to do anything else. But I'm going to make a conscious effort to be better about it. I can't go through life always expecting the worst to happen, especially when my life is as good as it is.

I'm a firm believer that people are brought into our lives as blessings or lessons. And I'll always be the person who believes everyone is a blessing until I'm shown otherwise and I'm okay with that. I'd much rather feel like a fool for believing the best about people than having walls that prevent me from getting close to anyone.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

As promised, an excerpt from "Better in Time"

Better in Time is the second book in the Time After Time series and the sequel to my debut novel, Distance and Time. This excerpt contains no spoilers for either book, so feel free to read without running the risk of ruining anything. 

I know what you're wondering, "When will it be published?!" And sadly, the only timeframe I can give you is "before the end of summer." As I've stated before when posting online fiction, I would much rather deliver a stellar story after a long absence than give my readers a half-assed book. As always, I will keep you posted so you don't miss the release and I appreciate your enthusiasm and your patience.

If you haven't already purchased Distance and Time, you can go to Amazon buy it here.

Now -- go enjoy the first part of Josh's side of the story:


Summer 1992
This place was like every other club I’d ever been to: loud, smoky and filled with girls wearing mini-skirts. Even though I’d just turned twenty-one a few months ago, I’d been a part of the club scene for years. It came with the territory of being in a boy band. 

I was lead singer for a group called South Station Boyz. My bandmates, Marc Reyes, Dave Butler and Bobby Callahan had chosen to go to other venues tonight. Marc opted for dinner and a movie with a couple of the girls from our wardrobe team and the other two chose some seedy strip club. I had no desire for that kind of attention, so I bowed out. I appreciated beautiful girls, don’t get me wrong, but stuffing singles in the oily G-string of some half-naked woman bathed in stinky perfume didn’t really appeal to me.

I sipped on a glass of Scotch as my eyes wandered the room. True to form, it was filled with short skirts, half-shirts and hair styled so big, it was like I’d gone to a singles bar for peacocks. 

“It’s a smorgasbord here tonight. Eh, Josh?” My friend, Mike nudged me and tipped his head toward the dance floor. He worked on our crew and convinced me to come out with him and a couple other guys in our entourage. I didn’t really feel like dealing with fans tonight; we’d had shows every night for the last five nights and this was my night off. But the only thing I hated worse than clubs was sitting alone in a hotel room. 

“Definitely a buffet of beauties,” I replied with utter boredom. 

Then my eyes landed on her.

She was with three other girls but she didn’t look like she fit in with them. Their smiles were big, as were their hair and high heels. Their skirts weren’t, of course. She, however, was wearing ripped jeans, some shimmery purple shirt and flats. They walked confidently through the crowd while she shuffled nervously, eyes not seeming to meet anyone else’s. I pulled my gaze away when Keith and Andre joined us and started telling us about some chicks they met up at the bar. I pretended to care but let my eyes wander again. 

I found the mystery girl again and watched as she and her friends settled in at a table across the dance floor. I sipped from my glass and nearly choked on my drink when her eyes met mine. I struggled to act casually as I tipped my head and smiled at her. She bit her lip, but the corners of her mouth curled up in smile before she quickly looked away.

For years, girls have thrown themselves at me. They’ve slipped their numbers into my pocket at fan meet-ups; they’ve snuck into my hotel room at two in the morning; they’ve sat outside my house for days on end during breaks from tour. I’ll admit, at first that kind of attention was flattering, but after all these years, it was getting old. I couldn’t take any of these girls seriously, much less date them. There was too much at stake. But this girl? I needed to get to know her. She seemed…different.

The guys retreated to our VIP room behind the DJ booth and I reluctantly followed them. Mike ordered another round of drinks, but since I was still nursing the Scotch I’d ordered almost an hour before, I passed. Only paying half-attention to their conversation, I stood at the glass and tried to watch my mystery girl, but she’d disappeared. Only two of her friends remained at the table. Anxiously, my eyes scanned the platform where their table was, then the bar and finally the dance floor, but I couldn’t find her. The knot in my gut urged me to leave the VIP booth and return to the spot I’d been standing before. I ignored the glances my friends gave me when I got up and left. I didn’t care what they thought.

Once I reached my perch above the dance floor, it only took a moment to spot her again. She was dancing with one of her friends and had her back toward me. She was thoroughly involved in the beat of the music and I was completely entranced by her. I couldn’t tear my eyes away or stop my feet from moving closer.

When I was finally behind her, I put my hands on her hips and began moving in rhythm with her, apparently giving her quite the shock. She spun around and stopped dancing. I flashed a smile and gently rocked her hips with my hands, reminding her of what she had been doing. When she began moving again, I slid my hand to the small of her back and pulled her closer to me as we began to move in sync. 

“Damn girl, you’ve got some killer moves,” I muttered to myself, seemingly louder than I’d intended because it warranted a response from her.

“Thanks, Josh.”

Shit. She was a fan. My radar had been wrong. Maybe this girl was like all the others. I faked a smile and mumbled something about the tabloids. Regardless, this girl was still beautiful and I couldn’t have been wrong about her innocent nature. That, at least, was a breath of fresh air in my world. Too many girls acted like sluts and would’ve climbed me like a spider monkey by now and this girl could barely touch me without pushing away again. Maybe she was different, after all. I had to find out for sure.

“Have a drink with me?”

I watched her bite her lip as she looked over at her friend, then followed the girl’s eyes up to the table. She was actually shy. How adorable! 

She nodded and I didn’t ask for a second confirmation before I wrapped her hand in mine and led her back to the VIP booth. By now, the guys knew to clear out when I brought anybody to join me, so they emptied out quickly. Not knowing how old she was, I ordered her the weakest fruity drink I could think of and myself another Scotch. 

When I asked her what her name was, she smirked and gave me some movie quote. Had I not been completely taken in by her eyes, I would’ve caught it, but I looked like an idiot when I didn’t respond right away. I wanted to kick myself. I was blowing it!

This girl was complex, that’s for sure. She came across confident. Her quick wit and responses to my questions made it seem like she talked to celebrities every day, but her body language said otherwise. She was clearly nervous. Her posture was rigid, she sat with her knees together and her back was straight as a board. She didn’t offer much conversation willingly and she kept nibbling her lips. Her perfect, plump, kissable lips. 

Jesus, slow down, McCarthy! I was getting ahead of myself. I didn’t even know her name or age yet. But part of me didn’t care. 

As the night progressed, we danced more, talked more and I spent the rest of the evening staring into her beautiful blue eyes. She finally relaxed a little and told me more about herself. I learned that she had turned eighteen just a few weeks earlier, was the baby of her family and that her name was Carly Cooper.

Carly. Her name flowed from my mouth with ease. It was a name I knew I wouldn’t soon forget. If I had my way, it was one I’d remember forever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I'd love to tell you that I'm an organized, on-the-ball person who has her shit together, but alas, that's not the case. Okay, so I am fairly organized, but only in certain areas of my life and most definitely not when it comes to work. And I'm a total procrastinator. Remind me to give you examples of all the ways I do that someday. 

(Ha! I'll be here all week! Try the veal and tip your waitresses!)

My goal was to publish Distance and Time in July for both e-readers AND in paperback. Yeeeeeah. That didn't happen. Then, I set the goal to have it done by September. October. Umm, November? Christmas? sigh Yeah, those didn't happen either.

I could give you a dozen reasons as to where I went astray, but it all boils down to the tenacity of making the changes and edits necessary to get the book printed. After having spent so much time with Josh and Carly during the writing and initial publishing process, I needed time away from them (and they from me!). I needed to deal with reality, for one, and concentrate on writing Better in Time, the second book in the series. Since Better in Time is Josh's story, that didn't really give me the break I needed. So, instead of sacrificing his story, I made the decision to put off the printing process for Distance and Time. It was an executive decision and, I believe, the right one.

I'm happy to tell you that I have finally made the final edits that should put paperback copies of Distance and Time in your hands very soon. Granted, it won't be tomorrow, but we're closer than we've been before. I know my graphic designer has a busy, hectic schedule, so it all depends on when her schedule clears a little, but overall, it shouldn't take nearly as long as it did me.

I believe apologies are important, but only if it means that you're going to make changes so what you're apologizing for doesn't happen again. So, in essence, I'd love to apologize for the length of time it's taking for the paperback copies to be printed, but in reality, I know this won't be the last time I procrastinate and therefore, my apology is pointless. I will ask you to bear with me, though. I think the stories and characters are worth overlooking my shortcomings in the promptness department. At least, I hope they are!

Stay tuned for updates and release dates for upcoming material, including this precious paperback that has taken me so long to get in print.

As always, I cherish you, my fans!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Mom Dated an Everly Brother

Okay, well, she didn't actually date an Everly Brother, but apparently she did hang out with them once. She was with her best friend and the two of them met Phil and Don after their concert and showed them the town.

It's been over 30 years since my mom told me that story, so I don't remember the details, I don't know if she got a kiss goodnight or even a picture with them, but I do remember thinking "my mom is the coolest chick on the planet!"

I mean, seriously! She dated a celebrity!

"I didn't date a celebrity, Melanie."

"Well, no, but you went out with one!"

"Not really, sweetheart."

"But you know one!"

My mom, who made the best lasagna on the planet, could do farm chores in less than twenty minutes, crocheted the most comfortable afghans ever, and gave the best snuggles ever? Famous! Because one night in the 50's when she was sharing a malt with a girlfriend at a diner, she had a conversation with one of the guys who sang a song I heard a few times on a record player.

Mom, of course wasn't famous, she didn't walk the red carpet, she didn't even remember which Everly brother was "hers" that night. But for a few minutes, in my six-year-old-mind, she was bigger than Elvis. And what mom doesn't want that?