[Perma-free eBook] Esme’s Piano & My Heart Remembers

Fyresyde publishing (1)

Esme’s Piano*

It was supposed to be a simple transfer. Nothing I hadn’t done before. I was a park ranger. Someone who watches as tourists venture through the wilderness and keeps poachers from breaking the law.

Then I met her.

At first, I didn’t know what to think. To others she was a person to avoid. To me, she held a certain appeal.

Then on my first day I heard it – the music of a piano. I had no idea how far it would take me. I definitely didn’t expect it to lead me in the world where light and dark magic battled each other….

 

My Heart Remembers*When theStars Align

I tried to free him from being hunted by the dark Fae. Then I realized…

I couldn’t live life without him.

Time passed and I began searching for him only to learn he had passed away.

My heart ached.

I tried so hard to give him peace. To let him rest in the tomes of time but the longer I waited, the worse the pain became…

 

 

 

 

Download Esme’s Piano on Kobo, Nook, and iTunes

Find it on Goodreads 

* This is a work of flash fiction. It is incredibly short but I wanted to share it anyway so I hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave a review!

[Marketing 101] The Importance of Investing in People

Marketing101People4When you hear the names Harley Davidson, Ed Catmull, J.K Rowling, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, what do you think of?

Do you think of motorcycles? How about Pixar? Harry Potter? Amazon or of course, Facebook?

What do all these success stories have in common? Yes, they have overwhelmingly popular brands making thousands of dollars every day. BUT! What is it they all have in common? What gave them the appeal? Did they just wake up and have these massive empires?

The answer is an all over resounding, NO!

These people had something they wanted to share with the world. Something they dreamed of and wanted to see successful. But how were they going to do this? Just post it up and wish or hope people would find their product if they decided to do no marketing whatsoever?

There was no social media when many of these great success stories came to fruition so what did they do to make such monumental impacts?

Simple. They saw the answer in front of them. Something so easily overlooked in a world saturated with desires to be famous and get rich quick goals. It wasn’t about them.

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (2)They realized early on… in order to have a successful product, you need to focus on pouring your energy into people. It is people that pass around the news of your product. People who bring awareness. People who spread the word. It’s people that makes a company what it is. And this doesn’t only apply to book marketing!

It’s a universal truth in businesses of all kinds!

For example, in today’s marketing world, there is not a person who would not recognize the name of Amazon. It is a multi-million dollar corporation reaching across a global scale in a variety of products. In the world of eBooks it holds the top slot in self and indie publishing.

Why? Because of people.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” — Jeff Bezos

Jess Bezos recognizes the power of the influence of people. He goes on to say:

“Obsess about customers, not competitors.” Jeff Bezos

Here is a man, a powerhouse in today’s market, humbling himself to the influence of the people his company serves.

Think about it? If no one used Amazon. If they went on with going to Wal-Mart on black Friday or never participated in cyber Monday, would Amazon still hold the place it does in today’s market? No, it wouldn’t. It is the overwhelming power of people that Jeff Bezos utilized to make Amazon what it is. He saw a need; he filled it and now look at what he has?

So often, new marketers and entrepreneurs fall into the trap of “Here’s my product, buy it!.” We flood our social media with constant self-promotion and forget: As marketers and entrepreneurs, we must remember it is about people first, not us!

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (1)Here are seven things to think about when you start marketing your product.

  1. People buy from entrepreneurs who have something they want.
  2. Satisfaction leads to word of mouth. Word of mouth spreads awareness.
  3. People like to feel like more than a wallet. Make it about them.
  4. Making it about them leads to repeated visits and customer loyalty
  5. People identify with people who take the time to speak with them
  6. There is no product without the audience
  7. People invest time and effort into something they attach too. You can help create that attachment.

Things to Remember:

  • Having a great product must always be about something you want to bring into fruition first and foremost! If you are serious, the passion has to continue into marketing and reaching people!
  • Do NOT see marketing a product as a get rich quick scheme. Many of the companies listed (Amazon, Harley Davidson, Pixar, Harry Potter and Facebook) took years to gain momentum!
  • Recognize a need/ find your niche/ tribe.
  • Anyone can bust out information told over and over on blogs and websites. Find something you want to ask but no one seems to have addressed yet.
  • Anything worth doing is going to take some serious work!
  • 80/20 Rule >> 80% of your engagement must involve your audience; 20% can be you.

Marketing101People2Making money doing what you love is a dream many of us have. We long to quit our jobs and make our burning passion our daily job BUT we must remember, in the end, we want people to know we exist. If your passion is more than a hobby, start networking with people now! Whatever you do, never give up. Success is a process, not a sprint.

 

 

 


Before you go….

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***Interested in writing for us? Want a book review? Would like to guest post or want to offer your own insight? Feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We are always looking for authors and bloggers who want to share their experiences!

 

 

 

 

[Preptober pt.2] Mindmapping v. Outlining v. Pansting

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please take the time to fill out this form.*** 


 

We are back again! This time, we’re facing some serious opponents in the cage: Mindmapping versus Outlining versus pantsing. FIGHT!

To begin to find out how we want to cheer for these titans in the ring, we need to understand what each of them are:

mind-mapping-graphic-100679740-large

Mindmapping:

The real definition, according to Mindmapping.com, is:

“A graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.”

Put simply, it’s the messiest form of getting anything you can think of down on paper in some kind of graphic. It can be in the circle web, a tree branch system, etc.

A great tool authors can use is called Freemind. It’s absolutely free and makes the process much easier. 

Once the process is complete you can move onto your second opponent in the cage: Outlining.


Outlining:

Going back to the official definition, according to Dictionary.com, an outline is:

“a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project”

What does this mean? Just as it says. You are putting your story in such a way that you dan-wellscan see it’s pacing, plot line, characters, etc.

There are many ways you can do this. However, some of those I use are Dan Well’s 7-point plot structure, The Embryo Method, and of course my favorite, the 3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapters method founded by Katytastic. Each of them are powerful and some of the most efficient ways to outline I’ve found! It’s up to you to decide on what’s best for you and your novel!


Pantsing

Pantsing is the most free approach to writing a novel. There’s no dedication to an outline. Often there’s not even a mind-mapping technique involved. It’s the most Stephen King method out there and still one of my most preferred.

However!

quote-but-it-s-writing-damn-it-not-washing-the-car-or-putting-on-eyeliner-if-you-can-take-stephen-king-89-85-72I am what is known as a Plotster. Most of the time, despite my love for the methods above, I don’t really use them I’d rather have a general idea as vague as possible so I can let the characters and story evolve as they will. When I do outline, it’s often Dan Well’s method which gives you the meat and leaves out the details.


But, which is right for me?

This is for you, as the creator, to decide. Some great questions you can ask are:

  1. What do I know about my story?
  2. Do I want to know everything up front or allow some freedom to move around?
  3. Do I even want to mind-map?
  4. Do I need to mind-map?
  5. What would benefit the story most?

download (2)Ultimately, you know your story better than anyone. you know what it needs, how the world feels and what you want to know – which can be as much or as little as you like.

  • Try each of them out! Maybe one feels right.
  • Do your research. There are many and I mean many ways to go about creating your story.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

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[Preptober Pt.1] Deciding What to Write

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com with “Launch Team” in the subject line.*** 


PBR_LogoSo, as you have probably noticed if you have any presence in the writing community or social media in general, you are noticing the term Preptober being used all over the place. 

One simply does not walk into Twitter and not see this hashtag haunting the pages. 

What Is Preptober?

Simply put, Preptober is a month authors of all kinds and genres use to prepare for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In this four part series, I hope to help give you ways you can benefit the most from Preptober. If you’re stuck on how to schedule preptober in a way you find helpful, check out this helpful little schedule sheet.

What You Can Look Forward To:

To get your feet wet in what I’m planning, here’s a rundown:

  1. Part 1 – Deciding what to write
  2. Part 2 – Mind mapping v. Outlining v. Pantsing
  3. Part 3 – Deciding an outline method
  4. Part 4 – Fleshing out your outline

Without further hesitation, let’s get this show on the road.

If you’ve done NaNoWriMo then you know the goal is to begin a brand new project with the end goal of publishing it either traditionally, self-publishing or indie publishing.

It Gets Us All: The Questionwriting-meme

Many authors struggle with this first question: What should I write? What genre is popular? What if the story I have doesn’t sell? I’m going to ask you to put away the question of popularity and selling and focus only on the story you, the author, wants to tell.

To figure it out, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s something you have either in your mind or written in a journal somewhere that you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t for any number of reasons?
  2. What story is going to keep you interested?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. Which one can you finish fastest?

By figuring out these questions, you’ve already helped yourself decide on a story you want to dedicate time and energy to. If you can’t answer these questions or fear you might get distracted, take a step back and write a few scenes.

download (1)Isn’t Writing before NaNo Cheating?

Believe it or not this isn’t cheating. Writing out a few scenes can help you get a feel for the characters you’re fixing to spend the next month with. Develop some locations, a music playlist, and some character sheets.

You may find you’re still stuck and that’s perfectly fine! Now is the time to catch up on your To Be Read List (TBR List) to get some inspiration. Reach for your favorite movies, play your favorite games (if you’re a gamer) and listen to your favorite music. You may just need to refill your think tank.

Once you know what you want to write, give yourself a few short sentences to describe your story. This is what we call an elevator pitch but I’ll cover more on that in a later post.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

[Blog Tour] The Dark Lands by Christina Bauer

The Dark Lands
Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins #5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: September 1st 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

“This YA paranormal fantasy series is cute, compulsively readable and above all fun.” – The Nocturnal Library Blog

Nineteen-year-old Myla Lewis is loving life–she’s now a wife, mother, and Queen of the Thrax. Oh yeah, and being a super-powerful demigoddess who moves souls into Heaven or Hell doesn’t suck, either. In fact, everything is pretty much awesome. Until something craptastic happens.

Her honorary older brother Walker enters the Dark Lands, home to the rule-loving ghouls, and vanishes without a trace.

Now it’s up to Myla to solve the mystery of Walker’s disappearance. Of course, Myla likes interacting with ghouls about as much as elective dental surgery. To make matters harder, everyone thinks that Walker is simply taking a well-deserved vacation. But Myla and her Angelbound love, Lincoln, both suspect that the ghoul Oligarchy took Walker in order to somehow release Lucifer, the ex-King of the Angels and an all around nut job who really needs to stay locked up.

Long story short, Myla and Lincoln have just two days to rescue their good friend and stop Lucifer from taking over the after-realms. Even for them, this may be a too-tall order, especially when Myla’s own father allows his past friendship with Lucifer to threaten Walker’s future.

“I loved jumping back into the world of Angelbound.”Mean Who You Are Blog

Perfect for readers who love angels, devils, and demons but want a fresh take on their related fairy tales, myths, and legends. This series combines fierce females, paranormal romance and urban/contemporary fantasy. Enjoy!!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Instagram / LinkedIn

 

GIVEAWAY!

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[Day in a Life] What’s Up Doc?

Time for a personal post! Going to try and do these at least once a week since I’m too nervous to do vlogs! We have some great things going on by the FyreSyde including fundraisers, upcoming conventions, the new audiobook and much more!

 

Trick or Treat 4 St.Jude FundraiserB9FD2B6E-D9EA-49EF-91E5-E7C50B77332B

So many of you have helped out so much! Authors, supporters, gift-givers, etc have answered the call and given us a great start! This being said, we are still in need of some generous souls willing to make this a truly successful venture! Please let me know if you’re interested in helping in any way you can! We will have a live event on Halloween night full of spooky music, fun costumes and giving opportunities to give children who can’t go door to door! We’ll offer Q&As, general funny talk and some raffle opportunities for book swag, Amazon gift cards and maybe even some great services from some amazing authors!

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FenCon

Our next upcoming event is FenCon (as a matter of fact, I’m there right now as you’re reading this). We’ll be offering signed books, chances to chat, free audiobook codes and now selling the eBook for 1.00! We hope to meet and greet you at this lively event held in Irving, TX at the Radisson Hotel! You can meet us Friday through Sunday. We hope to see you there! Photos and video will be posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all weekend long so stay tuned!

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Granbury Paranormal Expo

Whoo, the weekend right after FenCon, we’re going to be hitting up Granbury Paranormal Expo with our own booth and table. Swing on by, all you paranormal romance lovers and grab your hot wolf boys before Bane of Tenebris arrives next year! We’ll have free audiobook codes, the eBook, chances to chat, and of course signed copies and book marks for you to take for free! Of course we’ll provide videos, photos, etc all weekend long. We hope to see you there!

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Free Audiobook Codes

If you’ve followed us on social media here recently, you’ve probably noticed we’re doing the insane thing and giving away free audiobook codes as long as we have them! Have you had the chance to grab your code? All we need is an email and a promise you’ll give us an honest review and we’ll be happy to provide you with one. Guys, if you’re a fan of the Winchester brothers and Castiel, then you are going to love Kevin’s work. I will be working with him and him alone on every book I write. He gives great care to give every character their own personalities and brings life to the gods in ways that truly blow my mind away!

 

0721F014-5294-44A0-8E60-96B7F325040FNaNoWriMo

I am once again taking place in NaNoWriMo! This year I am proud to announce I will be writing a dark fantasy! This being the case for PrepTober and NaNoWriMo, I will be very pre-occupied. This also means there will be most likely be two titles released next year instead of only one! Is there anyone else reading this who’re reading

 

That’s all folks! As always if you wish to write for us, want to request an interview, review, etc, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you! If you like what you see, feel free to follow us! We’ll do our best to keep you as up to date as possible!

[Failure pt.2] You’re Going to Experience It…We all Do

FearisALiar

We’re all going to fail at something. 

It’s something that’s hard to swallow but true. We are all going to fail at something. It could be from something simple to breaking a key off in a door lock or something big like a failed book title. 

The beauty is, there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you choose to keep trying. This is the difference between a failure and someone who fails. The failure stays down and quits fighting while the one who fails keeps getting up and trying new things.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill  

 

It’s perfectly fine if your first trial fails. It’s supposed to!

 As an author, I am constantly learning to accept there are projects that may not see the light of day for one reason or another. The beauty of it is, it’s okay. Odds are you’re not going to have a perfect first draft. As a matter of fact, it’s most likely going to be horrible, however, the most important thing is for it to simply exist. You can’t edit a blank canvas 12071-terry-pratchett-first-draft-quotebut you can edit a bad first draft.

We see it all the time. New editions of books, remakes of games, character designs updated after years. These are people who realize that they’re allowed to edit or fix something. They developed their skills, honed them and got back in the saddle. Whatever you, never settle on your first draft of anything being your magnum opus. It won’t be. It’s not supposed to be.

The Wright Brothers went through many stages of the first planes which failed miserably. J.K Rowling wrote her first draft on a napkin and received multiple rejections on Harry Potter before it got picked up.

Allow yourself to fail. In the long run, it is the ultimate teacher and can make something turn into something else you never thought of.

 

Starting is Hard….

 

“The hardest thing to do is to start.” — Stephen King

He was right. Beginning anything new is terrifying. You may fear not having enough money, enough time, giving up something like binge watching Netflix, feeling you’re too advanced in age? 

 If this is you (because it was and sometimes still is me) ask why you’re terrified? Then weight the pros and cons. What do you have to benefit from being willing to fail? What do you have to lose? 

 Then remember: “I’m not alone. Others have failed before and become great. I can do this too.”

 Every single success story from Apple to Pixar, from Harry Potter to Twilight, have experienced failure. The difference, they didn’t quit. They took the hits and got back up.

To quote a very amazing rat: “Change is nature, dad and it starts when we decide.” 159578a41f29f4b8a14c080117a55d8d


 Got any comments? Feedback on what you’ve read or something to add? Feel free to leave it in the comments! We love to hear from our readers! If you want to support FyreSyde or see what we’re up to, feel free to subscribe! 

Want to write for us? Get an interview? Have questions or need advice, feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We’re open to guest posts anytime. It usually takes at least 24-hours for Blaise to respond but she does her best. Patience is appreciated.

[Book Tour] Grace’s Kiss by Karen Tjebben

 

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Romantic Suspense/Psychological Thriller
Date Published: September 2018
 
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Grace followed the rules. She always played it safe and never put her heart in jeopardy. Until the night she met Ryan. She’d never imagined that she could connect with an alpha male like him. Giving herself to him as he’d cradled her in his arms came naturally… until she sobered up. He was everything that she’d convinced herself she didn’t need. Or was he everything she needed?
Ryan balanced on a thin line of gray. He’d killed his share of demons but managed to live at peace with his actions. Then he met Grace, a woman who pushed all his buttons and shook him to his core. The need to have her overwhelmed him, but she kept shooting him down. Could he convince her that he was exactly what she needed?

Excerpt –

  1. Ryan liked the way her cheeks flushed when she stared at his crotch. The flash of innocence was a total turn-on. How could she look so innocent when she was so unabashedly sexy? He couldn’t help but groan as her hands slid over his ass cheeks and squeezed. Unintentionally, he tilted his hips towards her as he slid a hand into her hair. With the other hand, he tilted her head upwards and pressed his lips against hers. He tasted the alcohol on her as he traced the seam of her lips.

She stepped closer to him and lost herself in the kiss. She squeezed his ass again, harder this time, and he groaned. His ass muscles clenched in her grip. The burning ache between her legs intensified.

Parting her lips, she moaned as his tongue caressed the inside of her mouth. She enjoyed the overwhelming sensation of him and pressed herself against his body. The feel of his hard cock against her sent a rush of heat between her legs.

What was it about this guy? She didn’t go around kissing strangers or feeling them up. But this man had the pull of a rare earth magnet to iron. She couldn’t resist the attraction, so she enjoyed the draw. Curving her hands around his hips, she considered ‘accidentally’ brushing her hand over his groin and sneaking a feel of the impressive rod in his pants. But she lacked the courage. Instead, she pressed her breasts against his chest, thankful that she hadn’t worn a padded bra. Her nipples hardened at the heat of his body. She shifted her chest just enough to rub her sensitized nipples against her lacy bra.

As the kiss deepened, and her pleasure intensified, she pulled out of the kiss and glanced up at him. “Do you want to squeeze my butt?” she purred. She knew she sounded silly, but she was too drunk to care. She wanted his hands on her. She wanted to feel again. Besides, it wasn’t fair that he was the only one getting groped. She shouldn’t take advantage of him like that.

Her angelic doe eyes stared up at him. How had she managed to make that question sound so innocent and pure? Hell yeah, he wanted to squeeze her ass. “Darling,” he drawled, “I thought you’d never ask.”

  1. Turning his torso so that he faced her, he asked, “May I kiss you?” Normally, he didn’t formally ask a woman for permission to kiss her. He just went by the feel of the moment. But Grace was skittish, and he didn’t want to rush her.

She knew they’d kissed on the dance floor. Heck, she’d rubbed her body against his in a shameful way as she’d groped him. But the way he asked her to kiss him, like he respected her, warmed her heart. With nerves whirring through her, she nodded and said, “Yes.”

The soft, whisper reply warmed Ryan’s heart in a way he hadn’t expected. He wanted to pound his chest in a proud display of masculinity. She was giving him her trust, putting herself out there for him, and he appreciated that honor.

Ryan leaned towards her, looking for any hesitation or concern on her part, but there was none. The trust and innocence in her expression stirred a desire in him that he hadn’t felt before. He’d experienced passion in a sexual sense, but now a different type of passion heated him. This passion didn’t radiate from his cock. It wasn’t lust based. This passion radiated from his heart and mind and flooded his body. Grace didn’t casually give herself to men, so her affections were so much more valuable than she even realized. He liked that purity. He could see himself with her in a long-term relationship.

As he pressed a hand against her cheek, his thumb brushed over her lips. Her heart fluttered at the tender caress. She quickly licked her lips in anticipation and then felt his lips against hers. Heat washed over her that nothing to do with the hot, humid evening of a summer in the South. This was a heat that was stirred through passion and went right to her core.

She wanted more of him, tracing the seam of his lips with her tongue, she urged him to take the kiss further. He didn’t disappoint. The little boat rocked as he repositioned his body for a better angle to continue the kiss. His tongue slipped into her mouth and caressed hers in an erotic dance. Her girl parts woke up and moistened. The ease and pleasure of his kiss assured her that sex with him would be equally pleasurable. Where had that thought come from? They wouldn’t be having sex anytime soon, despite the need surging through her body.

When he pulled away, he’d left her panting and with a pulsing need between her legs that Daniel had never stirred up. She adjusted in her seat, wishing she could beg him for another kiss. Did he feel the same desire in his own body?

“I like you, Grace,” he said. He wanted to kiss her again. Hell, he wanted to take her back to his place and make love to her, but he knew that would be rushing her. If Daniel was telling the truth, and she’d only had sex with him, then she wasn’t the type to have sex after a first date. That was okay with him. He knew they’d have more dates, and she’d eventually have sex with him after one of them. He only needed to wait her out.    

 


About the Author

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Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her new career in writing. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.
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[Failure Series] Part 1: Understanding Failure and Why We Need It

Failure. 

So often we’re terrified of this one little word. It paralyzes us. Keeps us fearful and holds us back from attempting a deeply ingrained dream. It scares us so bad, often we think it’s better not to try than fail altogether. Who knew one little word held so much power?

In this series on failure, our hope is that our readers will learn not to fear failure but embrace it as a step in their journey to success.

What Is Failure?

The best way to start understanding something is to become familiar with what it is.

According to Dictionary.com, failure is defined as:

  1. A lack of success
  2. nonperformance
  3. or an insufficiency

You’ll notice, nowhere in those definitions are the words “impossible”, “Non-attainable” or “unreachable.” The common themes are “a lack” of something. When looked at by entrepreneurs, the art of failing is when one stops (nonperformance) trying to attain their goals (a lack of success). dont-fear-failure-fear-the-absence-of-progress-motivational-gym-quotes

Why Does It Terrify Us?

Good question. What exactly is it about failure that terrifies someone enough to keep them from even trying? Is it a damaging view of others? Maybe we’re afraid to give our last dimes to obtain something only to have it backfire. Perhaps it’s the idea of wasting time over something which seems silly.  Truth is, why failure paralyzes differs from person to person. It often depends on the individual.

History Is Made on Failure

No matter how terrifying, failure is one of the most beautiful things in the history of creation. Every living and non-living thing has experienced a form of failure. The next time you sit down at your laptop, your phone, your game system, the airport, etc, take a solid look. Every inventor of these great technological advances suffered failure! You have your phone because of ridicule and failure! Airplanes are flying on the backs of multiple failures! The books we read were printed on failure. The list goes on! What makes this different is these failures didn’t stop until they made the plane fly. Made the internet work. Made a website where most of the world’s online commerce occurs. History, great and small was built on the backs of failures. 

Why It Is More Valuable Than Success

db12c93a5358756069a09d2cacd08033This is most likely going to sound like the most absurd of ideas but it holds true. Bishop T.D. Jakes states, “we learn more from our failures, than our successes.” Why does he say this? Because once you’ve reached your success, whatever it may be, you are beginning something anew. You reach failure again and again when you work to brand and market that success. Failures are teachers. They beat us down, they hurt, they ache but in the end, we can choose to get up or we can stay down. Failure is the best learning tool. When Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, he witnessed one the most elaborate examples of failure. Nature. 

Why We Need Failure

We wouldn’t grow without it. Our characters wouldn’t build to become something stronger. Our intellects wouldn’t be pushed to solve the problems caused by failure to become success. Bishop Jakes offers a story about his father, who began a business with only a mop and a bucket in a difficult time in history. However, he persevered and built a truly flourishing enterprise. 

The Truth Is, Your Dream Has to Sound Insane

Going back to Bishop Jakes. In his most recent appearance at the Global Leadership Summit, he states “your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” It has to sound like it’ll hurt or is it worth your failure? For avid viewers of the popular Food Network show, Chopped, one cannot watch an episode without hearing stories of people who gave everything to obtain their culinary dreams. Did they think they’d get as much back as they did? No! Not at all but they took a risk and landed in one of the most viewed shows on television. 

“Your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” — T.D Jakes, Founder of the Potter’s House

Ultimately, failure is terrifying. There’s no escaping the fact. The trick is to look it in the eyes and push through to make your dream a reality. Ask yourself, what have I really got to lose? Then ask – What have I honestly got to gain?

Failure-2

Some great resources for when you need some reassurance:

Soar by T.D Jakes, Potter’s House

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull, Pixar

Power of Your Potential by John Maxwell, author, pastor